Humanities Department | Gippsland Grammar


Humanities Department

Courage to Care

During the last week of Term 2, three groups of students from Gippsland Grammar participated in sessions with Courage to Care. This organisation is inspired by those who were ‘upstanders’ against the discrimination and oppression of various groups during WWII, particularly Jewish people in Nazi occupied Europe. Our students learned about stereotyping and prejudice, bullying and the righteous among nations. Notable among these is William Cooper and outstanding indigenous leader in Australia who is honoured in Israel for his actions in defence of Jewish people in Europe before WWII.

All of Year 8 attended in two sessions, with a focus on countering stereotyping and bullying and being ‘upstanders’ not ‘bystanders’. The sessions were targeted at the curriculum areas that we requested and followed up on preparation in our Personal Development classes over the last six weeks.



Below are some Year 8 responses to the survey question ‘What was one lesson that you learned at Courage to Care that you will use in your life?’


That everyone deserves to be treated the same.

That never be a bystander and be an upstander

To treat people better

Not to judge others

To always be an understand and do something about someone being bullied and stand up for them

Don't be a bystander, be an upstander.

To stand up to injustice no matter how risky

That you shouldn't judge people from how they act because they might have a problem with home

Dont judge people by their race

All about the story's of peoples life and what they did for people risking there life to save someone else.

How to approach someone if they have been/ are upset and have been bullied

To be an upstander and that regular people can do irregular things

To be an upstander

To be an Upstander and not a bystander or a perpertrator



Year 10 History students had sessions that linked to our curriculum where we are studying the history of the Civil Rights movement in the USA and Australia since WWII. While we have not had classes after these visits to get feedback from our students their attention to the presenters and their thoughts during informal conversations afterwards indicate their response was positive.



The District 9820 Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) was held at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort on the weekend of Friday, Saturday and Sunday 18-20 May. Ben Harms and Liam Priestly from Year 11 represented Gippsland Grammar. Reports from insiders are that they were great participants, using their debating skills and lively personalities to impress all of the participants and organisers. Below are their impressions of the event.


We arrived at Phillip Island for MUNA on Friday afternoon as the delegates for New Zealand. We had to represent their government’s views over the next two days, debating six resolutions on the Rohingya people in Myanmar, Syria, North Korea’s nuclear program, women’s rights, climate change and refugees. We soon became friends with the delegates from France, Jordan and Hungary, although we didn’t know anyone’s names for the entire first day and called everyone by their country.


Our first night involved dinner, a short session for us to learn a bit about how the UN works in preparation for the upcoming debates, and settling into our room, which we were sharing with delegates from Myanmar, China and North Korea. In the assembly we also sat next to Myanmar and North Korea, who became very unlikely allies of ours. While Liam declared himself “PR” for the team, creating alliances and gathering information on the stances of other delegates, I worked on my speech for the resolution on North Korea. We finally went to bed at 2am.


Saturday morning, we awoke from a refreshing five-hour sleep, rushing to breakfast in our national dress of suits, Ugg boots, and sheep ties before the mornings proceedings began at 8:30. The Myanmar, Syria, North Korea, and women’s rights resolutions saw formidable performances from both of us, proving that a smaller nation such as New Zealand could play a large role in the debates.


On Saturday night, we heard from the inspirational guest speaker and Polio survivor Gary Newton. His speech shone the light on the polio disease and included a humorous but emotional plea for parents to make sure they vaccinate their children.


Finally, on Sunday the two biggest resolutions of climate change and refugees were debated, resulting in the best performances we had to offer. Liam had the entire assembly engaged by his powerful and convincing speech on climate change, while Ben’s fiery refugee speech won best of the weekend, Australia’s jaws hanging open as he delivered a three-minute tirade of roastings and not so subtle sheep references.


We would like to thank Mr Ries for driving us to the competition and offering his support, the school for supporting our stay at the resort, and the rotary club for putting on such an amazing weekend filled with fun, friendship, and unforgettable learning. We strongly urge any year ten students considering the camp for next year to seize the opportunity for a truly incredible and worthwhile experience.

Ben Harms and Liam Priestly