22 Jan 2020

Students voice concern for Pacific region

The Southern Cross  |  January 22 2020

Students voice concern for Pacific region

The impacts of climate change on the Pacific region and Australia’s dwindling aid budget were two of the topics Adelaide Catholic school students discussed with Federal politicians as part of the annual Voices for Justice event held in Canberra recently.

Apajok Apath and Yom Akech from St Columba’s College, together with Claudia Papillo from Thomas More College were sponsored by the Adelaide Archdiocese to attend the conference from November 30 to December 3. They were accompanied by Caritas Australia’s justice educator for SA, Suzy Penberthy, and Holly Roberts from the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults.

With the theme of ‘Pacific Perspectives’, the students agreed a highlight of the conference was hearing the stories from leaders in the region about how climate change is impacting their lives.

“Our Pacific leaders opened my eyes to the damage in our world from climate change, family abuse and not having the chance to become a resilient country,” said Claudia.

“To hear their stories not only saddened me but allowed me to want to fight harder for this cause, which met my hopes in being able to have a strong voice.”

Yom said the experience also opened her eyes to the aid being provided by Australia and “just how diminished it has become”.

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