G'day from Australia

September 9, 2014

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Year 12 student Cameron Harder-Hutton’s historic chat with Pope Francis early last Friday morning began with a typical Aussie hello - ‘G’day’. 

“Early Friday morning (12:30am) Cameron was involved in a historic conversation with Pope Francis,” said Dean of Identity Ms Erin Wedge.

“Cameron, who was supported by a small group of Nudgee College students and teachers (who were behind the scene), participated in a conversation made possible through EREA’s involvement with Pope Francis’ initiative of Schollas Occurrentes and EREA’s commitment to Edmund Rice Education Beyond Boarders.

“Cameron was chosen to represent Oceania and was one of only five other students from around the world – El Salvador, Turkey, Israel, South Africa – to be involved in the conversation. He was articulate, intelligent and gracious in his question and his response,” Ms Wedge said.

Cameron’s question and the Pope’s response are below. 

Cameron:

"G'day from Australia

St Joseph's Nudgee College is a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition. We follow in the footsteps of Scholas, having several campaigns advocating peace internationally and within our local community.

An example of this would be our own interreligious soccer match for peace last month between the school and recent refugees who are being held in detention centres. Because of this we'd like to thank you personally for the Scholas Program. It allows us to have direct communication with yourself as youths of diverse religions and as such, we are all incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to speak with you.

It is certainly a leap in the right direction in terms of developing a global network for peace and it is amazing how we can use technology to have dialogue and learn from each other.

So what we want to know specifically is how the Scholas program can bridge gaps between the youths of various countries today?"

His Holiness:

"First, I'll pick up on one phrase you said - dialogue between cultures - you need to do more of that. That is the future of our world.

There are two types of people in the world - those who build bridges, and those who build walls. We need people to build bridges. If we put up walls, we divide people, however if we’re bridge builders we join and share.  

I encourage you and the young people of the world to continue sharing; young people have great hearts. In true communication, we are all equal; and that communication is characterised by generosity, respect and lack of discrimination."  

Pope Francis finished his dialogue with Cameron by asking God to bless him and the young people of Australia.

The full chat between Pope Francis and the five students is available below. Cameron is the first to speak with the Pope who responds in Spanish, hence the translation above. 

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