Young JJAMM Leaders Use Mary and Julian as Inspiration

The JJAMM program guides our Student Leaders from our schools across Australia and New Zealand through a process. The foundation of our model for leadership is Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods. We explore how they worked together while reaching out to others in order to meet the needs of the poor.

With this in mind, JJAMM leaders for 2020 have partnered with Good Grief and The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) in order to meet the needs of those most excluded and traumatised in our Australian community.

No one needs to be reminded of the trauma and suffering bushfire victim families have experienced this summer season. The generosity of the Australian public, and indeed the world, inspires us to recall that our sense of community and compassion can be focussed and meaningful in times of such despair and danger. Such needs were not lost on our JJAMM leaders. It was decided that, as a group, the Schools represented by our JJAMM leaders would embark on an initiative partnered with Good Grief. The goal is to raise enough funds to enable qualified ‘Stormbirds‘ facilitators to travel to the bushfire devastated areas. They will train school teaching staff to help children, traumatised by their losses at the hands of the bushfires, manage, even overcome their grief.  It is our aim to raise $5,000 and so enact this initiative.  Further to this we hope to partner up with bushfire effected schools as an act of solidarity and perhaps lend a hand throughout the re-building process.

No one needs to be reminded of the trauma and suffering refugee families experience as a result of fleeing their war-torn birth country.  Attempting to make a new life in a new land, namely Australia, can add to the refugees’ feeling of disempowerment, isolation and hopelessness. Resettling in Australia presents many challenges: navigating social services (tricky enough even when English is you first language and Australia your birth country); accessing necessities to make a home; learning English; finding employment. This is, in essence, starting over.  Newly arrived refugee families long to be integrated, part of a community and foster friendships with Australian people. With this in mind, it is the goal of RCOA to host the #YearOfWelcome, where all Australians are asked to welcome refugees into the community and advocate for those still locked up on Manus Island. And so, JJAMM Leaders have elected to partner with RCOA and promote the Year of Welcome. The Leaders figured that if every student in their school were to take part in the Year of Welcome initiatives the outreach to school communities and families would number tens of thousands. It is our hope that raising awareness will contribute to the release of Manus Island Asylum Seekers as well as a more welcoming community for our newest Australian citizens – our newly arrived refugee families. Mary MacKillop said:“Little did [we] dream what was to spring from so small a beginning.” JJAMM Leaders dream and act for justice, knowing that our outreach is substantial.

The JJAMM gathering was an outstanding success. Once again the student leaders inspire us. If these young people are our future, then we are surely in good hands. The staff accompanying the students are as inspiring. These teachers have given up their weekend to participate and help supervise. Their energy and interest encourages the students to strive to make the world a better place. The Josephite Justice Network are privileged to be supported by such an outstanding dedicated group – true Josephites, seeing a need and taking action to meet the need and stand with the poor.

If you wish to make a donation to the JJAMM Stormbirds project email Sr Jan Barnett:

Karen Oxley

Students send welcome message #YearOfWelcome

Staff performing JJAMM Jingle recognising true leadership modelled by Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods

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