Michael Eccleston begins run for refugee awareness

All Saints College, St Joseph's Campus, Lochinvar teacher, Michael Eccleston, began his 150km Refugee Awareness Run this afternoon (Friday) at St Joseph's High School, Aberdeen, surrounded by cheering staff and students.

Michael, or "Ecco" as his students fondly call him, high-fived students as he walked through a guard of honour beside the man who inspired this amazing journey, Sierra Leone refugee and CatholicCare Refugee Services employee, John Sandy.

Prior to the run, students gathered for an assembly and were challenged by both Michael and St Joseph's Principal, John Tobin, to stand up for injustice.

"Standing up and saying 'this is not right' is what we ought to do, not only in this school, but in society," said Mr Tobin. 

Michael continued this theme by encouraging the students to get angry about injustice and challenging them to "get out there, look for an injustice, and do something about it".  

The assembly also included talks from John Sandy, Tania Kellend, also of CatholicCare Refugee Service and St Joseph's students from Uganda, Botswana and Fiji who shared their experiences with immigrating to Australia and expressed the importance of feeling accepted. 

The assembly finished with a spoken word poem from a Rwandan refugee, Roje, who impressed and inspired students with three powerful spoken word poems. 

If you would like to support Michael and help him to reach his $3,000 goal, you can donate through his everydayhero fundraising page. Michael is raising money to support CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning Refugee Service.

Michael's itinerary:

Friday 17 June –
2:30pm - run commences from St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen
3:00pm - arrives at St James' Parish, Muswellbrook

Saturday 18 June –
7:00am - depart St James' Parish, Muswellbrook
12:00pm - arrive at St Catherine’s, Singleton

Sunday 19 June –
10:30am - depart St Patrick’s Parish, Singleton
3:00pm - arrive at St Joseph’s Campus, Lochinvar

Monday 20 June –
10:00am - depart St Joseph’s Campus, Lochinvar
12:00pm - arrive at St Peter’s Campus, Maitland

Tuesday 21 June –
7:15am - depart St Peter’s Campus, Maitland
11:30am - arrive at CatholicCare Refugee Services, Mayfield
12.30pm - arrive at San Clemente High School, Mayfield

Read more about Michael's run in the June Aurora.

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Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and mnnews.today.