It is very pleasing to see our students taking an increasing role in ensuring that diversity throughout our community is embraced and discrimination is called out. Despite growing awareness and education in the community, discrimination remains a fundamental problem in society today.
Last week, the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, established to recognise and celebrate Indigenous players and their culture, was marred by the online racial vilification of Melbourne Football Club player, Kysaiah Pickett. There continues to be many stories of racial discrimination in the media and I am appalled by this behaviour.
As we approach this weekend’s School Indigenous Round, it is important to note that our appreciation of the Aboriginal community extends well beyond this round and that racism and discrimination of any kind are not tolerated by the School.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan serves to better understand, acknowledge and celebrate the history, culture and traditions of Aboriginal people. Our commitment to social inclusion is supported by education and awareness activities that are centred around the School’s values of truth, respect and service. At St Peter’s College, students should feel confident in calling out racism, sexism, homophobia and any other discriminatory language or behaviour at any time. Those in attendance at our Senior School Muster this week joined me in being proud of the frank, deliberate and clearly articulated messages of inclusion presented by our students.
Racism and all other forms of discrimination is often underpinned by ignorance and arrogance and it is our role as educators, leaders and parents to promote conversations with our children so that they build their capacity to identify structural injustices in our society. I encourage you to speak with your sons about the impact of racism and prejudice in society to help create real and sustained change.
The Indigenous Round against Rostrevor on Saturday will be a wonderful opportunity for students to represent the School with integrity and pride. I look forward to watching the boys play with great sportsmanship on and off the field.