School Principal Raises Questions Around Refugee Education

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St James College, Brisbane Principal, Ann Rebgetz has raised questions around the federal government education funding for refugee students that turn 18 while at school.

Principal Rebgetz made the comments at a well attended event and tied education to liberation.

“We have 20 students who’ve just come off Nauru, and I mention that particularly because those students are very aspirational,” Principal Rebgetz said in the video above.

“They want to do well, but many of them could not attend school in Nauru because the conditions in Nauru was so horrific.

“They are still in community detention and that’s a difficulty and our school really reaches out because when we enrolled those students, and I enrolled most of those students at the beginning of the year, I thought I would get from the federal government the same amount of money as other students.

“I discovered in the last four weeks that any of them who turned 18, which is very common for students in year 12, that we don’t get the funding from the government.

“The government gives no funding for 18-year-old asylum seekers.

“I mention that because I’ve gone to the Minister for Education.

“I’ve gone everywhere I could go to get the answer on this one.

“Luckily, we have an organisation that is very supportive of educating those students.

“That’s Edmund Rice Education, Australia, but it is absolutely criminal what the current government is doing in not supporting our refugees that are coming from Nauru.

“All of these families has been classified as refugees.

“So I’m sorry, I have to be political because one of the things about Edmund Rice is having a voice and speaking out, and that’s what we encourage our students to do, is to be advocates and speak out where they see injustices, our Touchstones are Solidarity, and Justice, Gospel, Spirituality, Inclusivity and Education is Liberation.”