Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer

The Good News of Terrace – Barrett House commemorate Anzac Day with their friends of Western Suburbs Special School

The Grave of Indifference

Although our Easter break is now a distant and fading memory, the impressions of my Easter break remain and will likely for a long time to come. I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to travel to Africa with other teachers of Edmund Rice schools of Australia and Tanzania. It was an immersion into South Africa and Kenya, connecting intimately with the ongoing work of the Catholic Church and the Christian Brothers and the extraordinary ‘difference’ they are making to others. I’m compelled to share these stories of ‘difference’ with our Terrace Family.

Soweto is community personified. Not only is it the home of Nelson Mandela and archbishop Desmond Tutu, it is a symbol of struggle, hope and future for South Africa. It is a large and vibrant community determined to be in control of its destiny. This became very clear as our small group sat among the thousands of others at Sunday Mass at Regina Mundi Catholic Church. The priest provided our congregation with a very clear and powerful message – ‘we must avoid the grave of indifference’.

The people of Soweto and of South Africa don’t want to be neutral, they want to have a voice and be active participants in their nation’s future, shaping the construct of their society. The people of South Africa want to avoid the ‘she’ll be right’ approach.

Being challenged with the concept of ‘indifference’ was quite confronting. Not because of its uniqueness, but because of its perils when applied on a societal level. If each individual where to become ‘indifferent’ about the world around them, who then determines its future? The privileged? The outsider?

Spending three days in Soweto, including a homestay with a local family, was a wonderful experience. It brought me closer to understanding post-Apartheid South Africa, and most importantly, to better understanding the challenges our society faces and how it’s imperative for the individual to understand that their voice and actions count. Indifference will not progress any society, it won’t be life giving.

I look forward to sharing some more insights from my recent immersion to South Africa and Kenya in the coming weeks.