Published: 12 March 2020

St James College celebrates International Women's Day

Huda  (Sudanese background, Poet, Nurse, Speaker, Refugee Advocate) talked of her journey coming out to Australia, after not having any formal schooling until the age of 10. Huda spoke of the multi barriers facing her and encouraged all to believe in themselves and to think big! Huda has taken steps in leading, breaking her own cultural stereotypes, and experienced overwhelming challenges in trying to achieve her dreams. Huda has set up a business where she performs and is proudly performing in the WOW Festival.

Jemima( 2nd year University Medicine and Midwifery Student, Dux of school) who has significant  dyslexia – Jemima talked of the many challenges due to the fact that reading was really difficult for her . She expanded on the way she had stepped around this major barrier through using her ears and listening to books rather than reading them. Jemima encouraged all of our students not to think they could not achieve, but rather to find other ways of learning to get over the line. It was not easy but she has now passed her first year. Jemima has started her own business and is giving back by talking to schools about her journey to help others like herself, and to provide a different perspective for teachers.

Our College Captain,  Florence, with her Samoan background, spoke of her passion to be a teacher and of her  hope that she can achieve her dream. Florence also discussed the family expectations of caring for others and how she will look to combine both.

Our other Captain, Tamaiti Pugh, gave a wonderful thank you speech where he acknowledged the importance of our event in highlighting awareness and giving impetus for action – he pointed out that many males still had problems expressing their emotion, due to the fact that this was not perceived as “manly”, and how this could lead to the outlet of emotions in inappropriate ways! I was able to highlight also the importance of our students expressing themselves through creative arts, and also sport in terms of physical/emotional development.

We thank Lakarri for her acknowledgement of country. Our Choir performed “A Million Dreams” and we were really uplifted by their great choral prowess and passion.

The table setting was superb, as were the delightful luncheon delicacies! In addition the IWD large Cake was consumed very quickly as people all enjoyed a slice. Thank you to the JCat catering team.

The decorations and general organisation of the whole event was excellent.

We were thrilled with our special guests and thank them again for coming and look forward to the stories covered by Mark Bowling in his attendance. We received many favourable comments on how motivating the event was for all.

We would sincerely express our appreciation to all our staff – for those who were able to come and for the other male staff who did duties and helped out, whilst we partook in the event. Overall, it was a great buzz and our students took away very clear messages of the importance of celebration, creating awareness, action for equality and stepping into new horizons, as we need leadership in the world to make it a better place.

Read The Catholic Leader article by Mark Bowling here