19 Oct 23

The Power of Empathy

Newsletter | Secondary Update

I’d like to share an extraordinary experience I was privileged to have with our Year 10 cohort. Year 10 is a pivotal moment in our students’ academic journey, where they explore their place in the world. The Year 10 camp in the city is a crucial part of this journey, offering hands-on empathy education.

The camp’s core is the workshops by “The Intersection,” a Melbourne-based group. Their focus on empathy and diversity is invaluable, resonating deeply with our students. They remind us that like-minded groups can provide a sense of belonging and connection, but can also lead to polarization and division into ‘us and them.’

At The Intersection, they pose an essential question: “How do we live together, recognizing that other people are different from us?” They believe that empathy and connection are the answer, but these connections need to be diverse. Embracing difference and diversity is essential for our growth, health, and healing.

This reminds me of a profound teaching from the Bible, found in John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” These words by Jesus underscore the importance of empathy and compassion in our interactions with others.

The power of empathy, as emphasized by The Intersection, lies in the ability to understand others and imagine life from their perspective. By truly putting ourselves in another person’s shoes, we can respond with compassion and bridge the gap between “us” and “them.” This not only fosters understanding but also contributes to social change.

The Year 10 camp experience, in collaboration with The Intersection, is a transformative journey for our students. It offers them the chance to cultivate empathy, engage with diversity, and develop a deeper understanding of the world and their place within it.

We’re proud to offer these opportunities and thank The Intersection for their invaluable contribution. We hope these lessons resonate with our students, fostering empathy, compassion, and global citizenship.

derek bendall, head of secondary