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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools


St Joseph's College - Circle of Silence

The Circles of Silence movement originated in Toulouse, France in 2007 among Franciscan groups to express solidarity with asylum seekers and immigrants experiencing injustice. However, similar non-violent and peaceful forms of protest have been used by a multitude of social justice movements around the world in the pursuit of change, including Mahatma Gandhi’s protests against British colonialism and the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. 

Since 2007, the movement has spread and there have been Circles of Silence events across Europe in Spain, Britain, and Malta.  All are unique to the experience of immigrants in that particular society, but united in the purpose of standing in solidarity with all people, regardless of where they have come from and their life experiences. 

Just Joeys members showed great courage and leadership in organising this event.  Over 850 students stood in meaningful reflection for ten minutes as images of the children on Nauru were displayed on screens, to express their support and solidarity for refugees and people seeking asylum. They stood in silence to recognise the injustices faced by people caught up in Australia’s immigration detention system. 

“This powerful display was intended to voice a desire for Australia's Political Leaders, to free the 117 children trapped on Nauru by Universal Children's Day, November 20.  It was fitting that this event was arranged during Migrant & Refugee Week, 20 - 26 August 2018.   The Pope’s theme for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees was, ‘Welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating migrants and refugees’.  We are very proud of our students for taking a stand to promote the well-being and integration of migrants to our shores,” said Kellie Ford: Acting Assistant Principal Mission, St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba.




Donna Kerr | Communications Officer | 07 4637 1408 | 0428 793 718