Grade 10, along with Stephanie Cooke and Michelle Jones, hosted some 60 guests at our Genocide Conference.
The session opened after students, teachers, professors and parents arrived. Dr Phil Clark, a genocide specialist from SOAS, University of London, spoke with great passion and insight about the importance of studying genocide; summarising that we must understand the history, learn important lessons from it, appreciate the survivors’ story and grow our empathy for them. He then shared his insights on his area of expertise – the Rwandan Genocide. He was most impressed by the students’ questions from the floor stating that they were more sophisticated than some of his Masters students. After, we heard the harrowing personal account of Mr Sok Phal Din who suffered tremendously as a young teenager fleeing Phnom Penh. He offered many difficult personal insights as well as asking the audience, and in particular the young students, to appreciate all that they have and how impossible it is to imagine your life could change so drastically overnight.
Grade 10 students then went on to present their well-prepared audio-visual presentations on the genocides of Darfur, the Kurds, Rwanda and Cambodia. Our visiting schools then had lunch with Grade 10 students and staff to continue the conversations in the canteen.
Big thanks go to Stephanie Cooke and Michelle Jones for creating and overseeing the interdisciplinary unit on genocide and mass media and bringing two fantastic speakers and so many guests to the conference. Also thanks to Jordi and the catering staff for serving 60 extra guests for lunch. Great team effort!
Halcyon students’ comments about the conference…
Zack: “While working on the talk I managed to improve my public speaking skills.”
Rachel: “There’s a great sense of empowerment and accomplishment whenever you finish speaking in front of a group when sharing a story. Especially one you’ve become really attached to as we all did when spending a month and a half to prepare for the event.”
Jackie: “I was quite nervous before the presentation but I thought it was exciting and interesting to have other students present. I think that it was an educational experience.”
Isla: “It was such an amazing experience! I was so nervous before but once I started I felt confident.”
Gwen: “I am so proud of our group, we delivered the talk just like we rehearsed and we feel it went really well.”
Dylan: “It was an interesting day and I think it went very well, the guest speakers were very interesting.”
Dina: “It was an educational experience that has changed the way I view the world of media as the real world.”
Celia: “It was a great way to meet and interact with students that have a different point of view and were taught in a different way about genocide.”
Andrew: “I learnt the right way to research info and also presentation skills.”
Alex: “I thought it was a great and productive way of learning and educating many people about matters that they might not necessarily know about.”