Year 9 News

Gemma Wooltorton - Assistant Deputy Principal Year 9

On Thursday 23 June the Year 9 students were once again privileged to hear the story of Flybz, Fablice and Mimi. Two inspirational speakers and entertainers. Students were challenged by their stories and moved by the display of honesty and commitment to making a difference in the lives of people. We shared in a very touching and beautiful way of being exposed to understanding the plight of refugees. Year 9s were a credit to their families and our College in the manner in which they involved themselves and embraced Fablice, Mimi and Paulie.

Year 9s had the pleasure of listening to Fablice (also known as FLYBZ) and Mimi. Both are Human Rights Activists who gave the Year 9s insight into what their lives had previously been like before coming to Australia. Flablice's story of terror, confusion and sadness was a real wake up call to the group, as his hardships make us appreciate the country in which we are born. However, what was truly inspiring was Flablice being able to find hope in such awful circumstances. The fact that even when he had lost faith and didn't see a future, he was able to show resilience which influenced the group to do the same. Flablice taught us that it's not about how far you fall, but how far you rise up. Mimi is a young woman who speaks out on women rights, and the importance of education. A truly inspiring speech was given by Mimi, who explained what it was like to be a women where she was from, as well as in many other third-world countries. Mimi believes and stands by a teaching from her mother, that if you live a life of privilege you have the responsibility to help others. Mimi was very inspiring, educating the students to live their lives trying to make others smile. Flablice even performed, encouraging the Year 9's to follow their dreams and not let anyone tell you you can't. Both Flablice and Mimi are young Activists, seeking to make the world a better place, their values and stories are truly admirable and we hope to see them again next year.

Penny Dwyer (09SL)

World Refugee Day honours the courage, strength and determination of women, men, and children who are forced to flee their homeland due to the threat of violence, conflict, and persecution. To serve as a reminder to us all of what a refugee is and how fortunate we are to be living in a country of freedom, on Thursday the Year 9 students had the privilege of listening once again to the hip hop rapper Fablice Manirakiza, aka: Flybz, a refugee from Burundi, Africa. He was accompanied by Mimi, a newer member to the group, as Fablice's nephew G-storm (the other usual Flybz member) was unable to make it to Perth.

We were honoured and inspired to hear the incredible and moving life story of Fablice who lived an extremely tough life after watching his parents being murdered when he was only eight years old. When he was just eleven, government forces took him out of school choosing the tallest boys in the class, and forced him to be a child soldier. He eventually managed to escape his tormentors however he was addicted to drugs and struggled to come off them. He continued to do things like sniff petrol as a way of coping with his traumatic experiences.

After escaping the genocidal regime in war-torn Africa in 2007, Fablice has built a new life in Melbourne as a hip hop rapper, joined by his nephew G-storm. His experiences serve as the basis for many of his songs. His message is one of hope, faith in God's plan for us all, and to let us know that we are the same. He believes that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and no matter what, you learn to forgive people.

Mimi is a passionate young Burundian woman who was fortunate enough to have been brought up under much better circumstances. Her mother told her that people born with privileges have a responsibility to help those less fortunate. Her father always told her she could do and be absolutely anything she wanted. She advocates for social change in her African homeland and her goal is to always put a smile on people's faces with her messages of hope and encouragement. Mimi is such a compassionate person who has helped change the lives of so many young women, giving them the chance to dream again and never stop dreaming, especially not because of life's many obstacles.

Fablice and Mimi are two incredible individuals who have used their backgrounds and life stories to help to educate young students like us at John XXIII College. We were able to gain insight into the life of a refugee and the horrors that come with it, making us so grateful for the lives that we lead, the education we are able to receive, and even the food we eat and the water we drink. We loved having Flybz come and talk to us and I'm sure I speak for all the Year 9s when I say; we really look forward to listening to the thought-provoking and inspiring messages of these courageous people again in the future!

Caitlin Cawdry Skead (09LR)

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