Passionate: Richmond River High School students (from left)Sappho Rose, Tim Goodman, Godwin Axisa and Ruby Gerrish will participate in next month’s inaugural Human Rights and Social Justice in the 21st Century conference.
Passionate: Richmond River High School students (from left)Sappho Rose, Tim Goodman, Godwin Axisa and Ruby Gerrish will participate in next month’s inaugural Human Rights and Social Justice in the 21st Century conference. Jay Cronan

Students stand up for human rights

RICHMOND River High School Year 9 student Daisy Aczel-Morris clearly remembers the day that human rights and social justice permeated her childhood world.

“I was in Year 5 giving a speech about borders ... when I realised how worse off some people could be because of an imaginary line on a map,” she said.

Today, the Lismore student is one of about 20 passionate members of Richmond River High’s equity group who continue to work towards a fairer society.

The group has just initiated and organised next month’s inaugural Human Rights and Social Justice in the 21st Century Conference for school students at Southern Cross University.

About 250 students from 15 high schools will listen to and challenge more than 20 prominent speakers.

School captain Alex Jones described the student-designed conference as empowering for young people across issues such as racism, cultural isolation and socio-economic issues.

“There are so many different forums for adults, but not specifically for students,” she said.

The students have brought together a formidable range of speakers, including former State Attorney-General John Dowd, renowned social diversity academic Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, and trailblazing Aboriginal artist Adam Hill, to name a few.

“We can listen, but we can also have our say,” Alex said.

“Things won’t change unless the younger generation changes them.”



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