On Tuesday 23 May 2017, myself and 13 other girls travelled to the annual Social Justice Forum, hosted by Mount St Benedict in Pennant Hills. Without even realising it, this experience was exactly what I needed. This forum was undoubtedly what I needed to be a part of right now. I often find myself feeling so frustrated and angry at the state of injustice in the world that I neglect to focus on the positive side of things. I tend to look at where we as a society are at right now, and compare this to where I ideally want us to be. It’s safe to say we are a long way off.
This realisation unfortunately leads me to overlook the vital work that is currently being done by multiple individuals and organisations, who are trying to find solutions to these pressing matters that I feel so passionately about. This forum enabled me to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who related to the feelings of frustration and anger that I felt, and more importantly the forum taught me that these feelings are okay. In fact they are important. The very second unjust actions stop being shocking, the second we become accustomed to seeing injustice after injustice occurring, the second we lose anger at what we see, is the exact moment we have lost to these injustices.
The workshops I attended, included the ‘Diocese of Broken Bay’ and also ‘Our Common Home and its People Cry Out’ genuinely opened my eyes on issues that I thought I had a high degree of understanding in. There is always more to learn.
All in all, this forum has been a powerful tool in reminding all who attended that the time for talking is well and truly over. The time for meetings, powerpoints and even speeches is over. It's over. If we as society are genuinely serious about resolving these issues, we need to express this through actions. Actual, real, visible, physical changes. It is time to stop cautiously tiptoeing around the corners of these issues, and actually tackle these issues head on, with the knowledge that the power of the people is, was and always will be the most crucial tool of all.
Rachel N – Year 11 Student