The Big Issue, The Immigration Museum and The Old Melbourne Gaol

Students Reflection:

As part of the Horizon program, we were lucky enough to attend the Big Issue Classroom where we had the great privilege of listening to different speakers, one of whom was Danni who shared her personal story. Through our visit, the subjects of homelessness, addiction and in particular, marginalisation were spoken about in a way that came from true passion and honesty. For us personally, the highlight of this workshop was listening to first-hand experiences from Danni. Her ability to share her story of dealing with a difficult childhood facing homelessness, neglect and addiction with such courage was truly inspiring. Hearing her story was so empowering and her strength to face us all and express how she felt whilst dealing with such obstacles was incredibly commendable.

At the Immigration Museum, we visited the Becoming You Exhibition, a self-directed program where we listened to and read many different coming of age stories from 72 Australians. These stories made us think and appreciate Australia’s diversity and our shared humanity. It helped us to think about our own lives, our identities and our experiences and link them back to the experiences of dozens of other Australians; letting us see that even though we are so diverse and unique, we are all still humans who are connected by our experiences and stories.

As well as learning many new things at The Big Issue Classroom and the Immigration Museum, we also had an amazing experience at the Old Melbourne Gaol!

We started our adventure with a guided tour where we learnt about the history of the goal, what life was like for the prisoners, some stories about significant figures in Australia’s past like Ned Kelly and the amount of injustice there was towards the prisoners back in the day. They described how people could become a prisoner just from being homeless!

After visiting the gaol, we walked next door to the Old Magistrates Court and took part in a courtroom case based on social media. Our courtroom re-enactment was engaging and allowed us to have fun, acting out roles and watching our friends. This case was relevant to us as these platforms (such as Instagram and Snapchat) are a part of our daily lives but the dangers of putting trusted information and images online were also represented. Being immersed in this re-enactment of a real case was really interesting to us all as the event was very inclusive, allowing us to learn more about the justice system in a form that we, as students, can enjoy and understand.

These trail days gave us the opportunity to delve into some different social justice issues and provided a great introduction to our upcoming Social Justice Unit in the Horizon classroom.
By Isabella L. (9DCA), Bianca C. (9DCA), Alannah P. (9JGU) and Amelie B. (9DCA)
Year 9 Horizon

Gabrielle Tabban
Horizon Coordinator