Faith In Action

Advocacy

Speak out for those who cannot speak..... Speak out, judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9

As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, particularly situated in this wonderful country of ours and this affluent city of Brisbane, it is incumbent upon us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, due to poverty, oppression, disability or circumstance - simply, to advocate. Jesus Christ stood in solidarity with those on the margins, and inspired by the story of Jesus, Edmund Rice acted to address injustices in his community. Today, in a world where communication has made us closer as a human race than ever before, it is not acceptable that there are people, particularly young people, who are in need but are not being heard. ERA for Change sets out to respond to this extremely important issue through advocacy. Importantly, ERA for Change is about providing young people with a voice - predominantly, through this initiative, young people will be speaking for young people. Children are invited to the "big table"!

ERA for Change

ERA (Edmund Rice Advocacy) for Change is a group of students, staff and parents from Edmund Rice schools who work together on justice and advocacy projects. Each participating school from across the country has a chapter of ERA for Change, identifying local issues upon which to focus. As a wider group, schools are in regular communication and identify issues that can be addressed together.

The central focus is advocacy - providing a voice for those without a voice. A principal focus is providing a voice for marginalised young people locally and globally.

Within each school community, the ERA for Change Chapter meet regularly, discuss relevant issues and decide upon ways to respond accordingly. Members of staff may play a leading role in the development and facilitation of the group, but it is a predominantly student-led process.

Issues addressed are always relevant to the identity of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, and as such, ERA for Change takes guidance from organisations such as Edmund Rice International (ERI), the Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) Sydney and Caritas. The United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child is also a key document in helping to frame the aims of ERA for Change.