Over 30 students gathered in the boardroom today to build understanding of a more inclusive college community.

“I believe the inclusion ambassador roles are very important because we are such a diverse community at BSSC,” said Billie Taylor. “I want everyone to feel a part of that community.”

BSSC students come from many cultural and religious backgrounds, have diverse gender identities and many have to deal with disabilities. There are also students who have had highly-traumatising experiences as refugees. Some are the only student from their 7 to 12 college to come to BSSC. Others, whose families struggle financially, face specific challenges around inclusion.

Billie came to BSSC at the start of 2017 from Wangaratta. She knew nobody, and now as Vice-President of Student Council, she reflected on her journey from those early days when she had to take those hard steps to build connections.

“Out of my own experience and general awareness, I have always tried to be inclusive,” she said. “Now I have the knowledge to back up that instinct. I was really impacted and amazed about the refugee experience. I didn’t realise how many of my co-students had been through so much.”

Rose agreed that this ambassador program is really important.

“I have had that lonely, hard experience of being new and knowing no one,” she said. I also like helping people, and want to be a social worker in future, so I can’t ignore when others are struggling. One thing I learnt today was how hard it can be for LGBTI students and how important it is to respond appropriately to them.”

A large group of students now have great insight about issues that can reduce the capacity of a student to fully participate, or feel fully a part of, our great college. And while the policies and messages about inclusiveness have always been strong, a student presence ‘on the ground’ helps ensure nobody needs to feel left out.

The following students have been trained as Inclusion Ambassadors. If you have ideas for how BSSC can increase inclusion at the college, please speak to an Inclusion Ambassador or a member of staff.

Samantha Bramley        Zelma Carter                     Harvey Chang             Joelle Colliver

Jacinta Douglas              Eve Gray                            Josh Green                  Harrison Gunn

Emily Harper                  Caitlin Jackson                 Sam Johnson              Sophie Keating

Maddy Kelly                    Moses Kuol                       Jackson Landry           Chloe Leehane

Jess Maher                      Nigheisha McCurdy        Rachel McGregor        Tilly Munro-Lawrence

Indy Neale                       Anita Pollard                    Molly Revile                 Vyon Rodoni

Phoebe Ross                    Rose Schmid                    Scout Sherwill              Ericha Smyth

Billie Taylor                     Callum Tucker                 Peta Turnbull               Cail Varker

Xiaoyan Wang                Shannen Yaba