Courage to Care exhibition at Surfers Paradise

June 13, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Gold Coast Courage to Care Exhibition launch was held in the Katranski Community Hall at Surfers Paradise earlier this month.

Scott McDougall, Paul Myers, Rabbi Gurevitch, David Rebibou, Kaitlin Barwick and Kayla Szumer

Kayla Szumer, Queensland Courage to Care Coordinator was the MC.

Following a Welcome to Country by Yagambeh Aboriginal Elder Anthony Cora, the 67 people who attended heard Commissioner Scott McDougall, of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Council, give the guest address.  He was followed by Kaitlin Barwick, the Local Hero for the Exhibition.

Kayla noted that Courage to Care was created 20 years ago, to highlight the rescuer stories from the Holocaust. These stories have a positive and inspiring message, which are now being taken into classrooms across the country.

Paul Myers, President of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, Rabbi and Rebbitzin Gurevitch, Councillor Hermann Vorster and David Rebibou were special guests.

Scott McDougall commended the Courage to Care organization. “The Courage to Care Exhibition aims to tackle prejudice through 4 themes: Discrimination, Intimidation, Defiance and Empowerment.  Within each of these themes the exhibits present stories which challenge us to reflect on how we would have responded to similar acts if we were placed in that position at the time of the Nazi oppression, and also how we would respond today when confronted by contemporary acts of bigotry and racist extremism.” Scott spoke of some of the challenges he faces in the position he now holds.  He continued, “We must remove the fear and ignorance that gives succour to racism and bigotry.  The best way to do this is through education and individual acts of courage.  This is why the Courage to Care Exhibition is so wonderful.  It educates children and the broader community, whilst also encouraging and challenging individuals to stand up and nip racism and bigotry in the bud, before it is allowed to take hold.”

Kaitlin Barwick is the Local Hero for the Exhibition. Just 17 and in her final year of high school, Kaitlin received the 2019 Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year award for her work and leadership in the community.  In 2018 Kaitlin founded Squad Eleven, a group of high school students who together carry out selfless acts of kindness in the Gold Coast community. They have participated in the cleaning up of Lake Orr, they volunteer at a local retirement home and have been involved with various fundraising events for charities and other very worthy causes. From birth, Kaitlin has been encouraged by her family to ‘reach for the stars and be the best person she can be,’ so she is a high personal achiever in whatever she does.

Squad Eleven acts as a platform for young people to express their ideas, network with like-minded youth, develop confidence and leadership skills and overall, get active in the community within a supportive environment. Kaitlin says, “The difference that our group is having on the community is massive, with adults from other areas approaching us to form similar groups in their communities.  We are obviously leading by example.”  Kaitlin’s life proves that everyone, young or older, can make a positive difference in their community.

Closing the event, Kayla thanked the sponsors, the Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation, for supporting the idea of a Gold Coast Courage to Care Exhibition and graciously lending us their hall for the duration, the QJBD,  the security staff and all the Courage to Care volunteers.

Courage to Care is an initiative of B’nai B’rith.

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