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