Cooranbong, New South Wales
Poetry enthusiasts from all over the Central Coast gathered on Thursday at Avondale College for Asian Aid’s Poetic Justice evening.
We hope that we can encourage our Australian youth here to have a broader focus, to think outside the square and outside the communities they represent.
The spoken word night, now in its second year, provided a platform for attendees to share their thoughts and opinions on social justice and current issues.
Poets ranged from school students, with many reciting for the first time, to locally renowned guest poets, and even a video sent in from an Asian Aid worker in Nepal.
Event organiser Joshua Moses said it was all about pushing boundaries.
“We hope that we can encourage our Australian youth here to have a broader focus,” he said. “To think outside the square and outside the communities they represent.”
The entrance to the Poetic Justice evening at Avondale College in Cooranbong.
The atmosphere was relaxed as more than 60 attendees enjoyed dinner from a Mexican food truck and hot drinks.
Also on offer was artwork from Asian Aid sponsor children, with blank canvasses and pens provided to share thoughts.
A highlight of the evening was hearing poems from Central Coast Adventist School and Avondale School students.
Described as “world changers” by Mr Moses, the students, ranging from grades 7 to 10, spoke on topics such as prison injustice, racism and the pressures of society.
Central Coast Adventist School teacher Josh Stewart said his students completely inspired him.
“We give our students a small window into the world and watch as they explore the injustices in our world, the inequalities and the things that really get us passionate,” he said.
“To see students make art out of that passion is absolutely amazing.”
Will Small, from SpeakUP Gosford, was a featured artist, reciting several poems on issues that included youth empowerment and living in the present.
The evening ended with Central Coast poet Roje Ndayambaje sharing stories from his experiences in a concentration camp, and how his mother survived the war in Congo when he was just a baby.
Concluding the program, Mr Moses said each person now had a sense of responsibility.
“As we leave this place, you’ve heard the stories. You’re now aware of a wide variety of issues,” he said. “So go from this place—and do something.”