You are here:
On Tuesday, Paige (Year 11) spoke at our Principal’s Assembly about the importance of celebrating Peace and Gratitude Day, and acknowledging the many freedoms we take for granted here in Australia.
“On Peace and Gratitude Day, we are encouraged to thank those around us who have had a positive impact on our lives, from our amazing teachers to our supportive friends who never let us down.
It is also a day in which we acknowledge how privileged we are to enjoy peace in this country. This year marks the 37th anniversary of Peace and Gratitude Day. It also marks 70 years since the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights. On behalf of Amnesty International and our Amnesty Group here at Wenona, girls in the Senior School took part in a campaign called Write for Rights. This included sending protest emails to countries where people are being held for reasons that contravene United Nations’ law.
Two of the protest campaigns we conducted this year were in support of Amal Fathy and Hoo Yew Wah. Amal Fathy is a women’s rights defender, who stood up in the face of repression against her government. Egypt detained Amal after she posted a video on Facebook that criticised the government for failing to address sexual harassment. Amal is facing charges of the distribution of false news, the possession of indecent material, and the use of insulting language. Amal found the courage to speak up for all women in her community and protest for their rights, but is being detained as a result.
Secondly, 20-year-old Hoo Yew Wah was arrested in Malaysia for possession of drugs, a crime that would result in a fine or a prison sentence in Australia. Thirteen years later, Hoo Yew Wah is still languishing on death row in Malaysia. In July, the Malaysian authorities announced a review of the country’s death penalty laws, which gives Hoo Yew Wah a chance at life. It is only through the support of groups like the Amnesty Group here at Wenona, that he has a chance of a reprieve, so it is important that we call out this injustice and voice our protest.
To celebrate the importance of Peace and Gratitude Day, the Amnesty Group organised yoga at lunchtime. For a gold coin donation, students were encouraged to bring along their own yoga mats. We also sold ribbons to mark the occasion. We raised $200, which will go directly to Amnesty International.
As a group, we stand for human dignity and are passionate about fighting injustice for those less fortunate than ourselves. It is events like Peace and Gratitude Day, which help the Wenona Amnesty Group to achieve its aim of supporting those in disadvantaged communities who do not enjoy the same freedom as we do.
Paige (Year 11)