Holocaust survivors will soon share their stories of rescue with students and residents from the Hunter Region at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery as part of a social justice program which aims to encourage people to stand up against all forms of discrimination.
Courage to Care is a travelling exhibition and educational outreach program that demonstrates the importance of standing up to prejudice wherever it occurs. Integral to the program are the Holocaust survivors who relate their personal experiences from World War II, focusing on the extraordinary acts of ordinary people who demonstrated great courage by standing up to their persecutors to rescue them, even at great personal risk to themselves and their families.
One survivor who will be sharing his story is former Maitland resident John Grushka, who moved to Australia in 1960 after receiving a job offer. John has been involved with Courage to Care for the past seven years and has emphasised the importance of passing on the lessons to be learned from the persecution that affected so many millions of his generation.
As one Year6 student commented at a previous exhibition, “It made me realise how brave they were to have the courage to do that so now I will not be a bystander – I will stand up for what is right.”
The exhibition will be running from 5 June – 17 July at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, with primary and secondary students booked in from local schools to experience a free guided tour and the unique opportunity to hear personal testimonies from Holocaust survivors. Students will also participate in an engaging discussion that demonstrates the relevance of the exhibition in today’s society.
As the head of education, Margaret Hall, has stated, “At Courage to Care’s heart are survivors of the Holocaust, whose stories highlight the often small acts of kindness that contributed to their survival.” The program shows both students and the general public the power of seemingly small actions in standing up to racism and discrimination.
Courage to Care will also be honouring the contribution of Woodberry resident and local hero, Dawn Field – better known as Aunty Dawn – a highly-respected Aboriginal elder who has focused most of her life in Maitland on delivering key community outreach projects for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents.
Admission to the exhibition is free and information about school programs or making a booking is available by calling (02) 9321 6300. There are limited school sessions left so please contact soon. Alongside school bookings, Courage to Care also runs special adult Sunday sessions from 2-3pm where you can experience a free guided tour and hear the story of a Holocaust survivor. Other initiatives for children will be running during the school holidays. Please visit Courage to Care.