Schools in action: Hornsby Girls High School

Educating for change article written on the 02 Mar 2015

Photo: Hornsby Girls High School.
Last year Year Ten students from Hornsby Girls High School campaigned against the exploitation of the Bangladeshi workers who produce our clothes.

The students, who organised their community action as part of their participation in the High Resolves program, created an awareness and fundraising initiative to support Oxfam with the brilliantly clever name, ‘Don’t Sweat it’.

These resourceful students researched this global ethical issue and contacted Oxfam to request the use of Oxfam Australia’s petitions to encourage their friends and local community to take action.

How could we say no to such a perfect partnership?

Embracing the role of active global citizens with open arms, the students raised awareness and worked hard to engage their peers and the wider community both online and out in public. The girls held stalls at the Glebe Markets and at their school’s multicultural fair with petitions (and chocolate) in tow.

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Photo: Hornsby Girls High School/OxfamAUS

Here’s the girls from Don’t Sweat It, in their own words.

Don't sweat it

“The aim of our project was to raise awareness about the unfair working conditions in Bangladesh and in particular remind people about the Rana Plaza tragedy where many workers were killed.

“We were able to raise over $400 in profit by selling Fairtrade chocolates, donated to Oxfam, as well as collecting over 400 signatures for the Oxfam petition in order to get companies like The Just Group (who own Jay Jays and Just Jeans) to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord for safer conditions for workers in Bangladesh.

“We are extremely proud of our achievements and happy that we were able to make a difference to our communities.”

We think they definitely should be! They have helped put pressure on Australian retailers to ensure the rights of more than 3.5 million garment workers who make our clothes in Bangladesh are protected.

Thanks to Hornsby Girls High School, all the students involved in Don’t Sweat It and teacher Aimee Graham for your great work — and help with this blog post!