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Recently we held a very special (COVID safe) event to honour and celebrate some incredibly special people – our Survivor Speakers.

Our Holocaust Survivor & Custodian Speakers bravely and generously share their time to tell our Upstander Program students their stories of survival, and in particular the people who had the courage to care, to stand up and choose NOT to be bystanders in the face of the greatest horrors imaginable.

Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Lewis said “It was a privilege to be in the presence of so many of our treasured Survivor Speakers and Custodians especially after not being able to see each other at all last year because of lockdown. I took a lot of comfort last year when I would speak on the phone to these amazing people and they would tell me that lockdown was nothing compared to what they had experienced during the war. This certainly gave me a greater perspective on challenging times. I think one of them described lockdown as a piece of cake. This really buoyed me.”

Students tell us time and time again of the profound impact these stories have on them, and bring to life our Upstander message in a way that connects deeply and challenges them to consider how they can be Upstanders in their schools and communities.

Chair Dr Tony Weldon OAM FRACP said “We are so fortunate to have these amazing individuals as part of Courage to Care. All our evaluations, including those done by independent experts confirm that hearing a personal story of courage has a lasting impact on students, teachers and the broader community. We are all challenged to consider our own behaviour and be reminded of the dangers of being a bystander and not an Upstander.” 

We are so grateful to these special people for the fundamental role they play in delivering our Upstander Programs, and in shaping the next generation of Upstanders.

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