Forty students from Uniting Church schools – Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (PEGS), Aitken College, Billanook College and Cornish College – visited the Melbourne Synod office for an Interschool Social Justice Day in May.
The Justice and International Mission (JIM) and Culture and Context units hosted the event in the synod chapel. Activities included a ‘Where’s Wally’s tax haven?’ game and group questions such as ‘What sort of budget would you hand down if you were Treasurer?’
The students played a game showing how multinational corporations avoid paying tax and the negative impacts this has on society.
“Tax helps fund things,” PEGS student Laura D’Aprano said.
“If the government has no money, how will we fund hospitals and how will roads get fixed?”
“We also talked about people using tax havens for criminal purposes, to hide money made from crime,” said fellow student Emily Fry.
Jiana Bivenetto, also a student at PEGS, compared the discussion to a newly released film which touches on the issue.
“It’s like in The Other Woman where the guy hides money in the Bahamas. You can hide your money and not pay tax – which is good if you’re the criminal but not good for other people, or for the government,” she said.
PEGS holds a weekly social justice event at the school in which all students can be involved.