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Strength of the Week – Fairness

I wonder how many of us could estimate the number of times they’ve heard Holding the ball (or just Ball!!)! at the footy.  Or how many times we’ve heard our children respond loudly, That’s not fair! when they feel wronged. Fairness. We seek it in all aspects of our lives.

As we remember Social Justice Week,  National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week this week, it’s an ideal time to reflect on the strength of Fairness. Is there ever not an ideal time, in reality?

In the past when I have taught about the events associated with the terrible injustices dealt to our indigenous community, I have often reflected on my own feelings and tried to put myself in another person’s shoes in order to communicate this important topic. As I taught Rabbit Proof Fence, and discussed traumatic history that surrounds the Stolen Generation, I tried to imagine what it would have felt like to have had someone in authority enter my home and take my children away. The picture in my mind creates incredible angst, and what’s more chilling, is that this is only the absolute tip of the iceberg in terms of the reality of the pain and loss such an event would cause. As a parent, I cannot imagine that pain, nor ever recovering from it. How would you?

Another area where Fairness is important is in the gender divide.  Events in the recent past and growing focus on consent are promoting the imperative for stronger Fairness.  As important awareness around gender continues to grow, the language we use and the opportunities we offer are full of opportunity for greater fairness and expansiveness for everyone. It is an issue we are working on developing further as a community.

Disability and aging are also areas that require focus on Fairness. Can all people access their entitlements and opportunities  to position them to thrive as members of our community, and how can we, support and promote that better, together?

Fairness, as a character strength, is really about what is morally right. It involves us being compassionate and sensitive to social injustice issues; it sees us caring for others in being responsible members of the community. It helps us to be trustworthy friends and people who live and stand for moral values.

The Lasallian values we share seek to nurture an awareness of the poor and victims of injustice and contribute to a proactive response to their needs through education and community service. As a community we work towards stronger Fairness. At school we remind students that we are all a part of a community where each person is known, valued and cared for where each of us is empowered to explore their curiosities, and positioned to choose to be the leaders we become.

In aspiring to be fair we also remind ourselves that it’s about being fair in our interactions in all of the different settings in which we move; being fair and respectful in the classroom, in the yard, on the sports field and at home.

Last week and this week, students in Year 7-9 continued in their workshops with Enlighten Education and a range of other opportunities, intended to also develop a focus on Fairness and Kindness at the foundation of positive relationships. You’ll find this reported elsewhere in the STAR from the students’ perspective.

Our commitment to harnessing student voice in a range of leadership forums is also a powerful vehicle for positive change and contributes to Fairness. EcoSquad is a great example of students and staff safeguarding the Earth in Fairness. Our Lasallian Youth Leaders, House Captains and Student Leaders also respond to this call in their areas of involvement.

In daily life, as a community, acknowledging each other in greetings and listening to each other respectfully and communicating kindly is also a great beginning point, wherever we are! Together, we can make a difference; we can  Be a Voice for Generations, as inspired by National Reconciliation Week 2023.

Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Tonia Carfora

Year 7-9 Wellbeing Initiatives Leader