By Emilie Ng
CATHOLIC students across Australia voluntarily placed themselves in detention last week as part of a nationwide campaign to end immigration detention for children.
Schools throughout Australia took time out for the national Detention for Detention campaign, including more than 30 from Edmund Rice schools.
Students at St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe spent the morning break with hands tied and duct tape plastered on their lips in a confrontational message against the injustice of child asylum seekers.
All campaigns were organised by each school’s student leaders.
St Patrick’s College vice-captain Sam Huth said the school was an “inclusive community” that believed “all people are welcome” to Australia.
College captain for 2015 Jacob Lawrence said the Australian government’s asylum seeker process was “not quite fair”.
“I don’t think its fair at the moment that people flee to this country looking for happiness or seeking asylum as they say, and have to sit here and go through the detention process,” Mr Lawrence said.
“They are coming here for a better life but they are going through all of these processes for all of that to happen.”
College staff Charles Brauer said students at the College were “men of action”.
“At St Patrick’s College we pride ourselves on ensuring that their faith is well and truly alive,” Mr Brauer said.
Down the road, students at St Joseph’s, Nudgee College also took part in being voluntarily detained during the school’s lunch break.
Nudgee College captain Sam O’Neill said in a statement to the college students standing in solidarity with child asylum seekers was “not proclaiming…the best political agenda” but a way to stand “hand in hand with other humans”.
Nudgee College’s Justice and Peace director Mark Ellison said students were acutely aware of the horrific stories of asylum seekers making their way to the country by boat.
“There are a few guys who work on the grounds that have come here by boat and have told the other children their stories and got to know them,” Mr Ellison said.
“They’re compassionate boys who want to make a difference.”
Watch the behind the scenes video: