Read the article ‘The land beyond the horizon’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. Australian Catholics magazine's intern Superanse Nduwarugira writes that she couldn’t understand when she met Jefry why he was so happy. Why do you think Jefry is so cheerful?
2. Jefry explains that there are few employment opportunities for young people in West Papua. What do you think it would be like to be a student there? How do you think West Papua young people see their future?
3. Jefry says that he and his brother received big and small mercies in Australia. Why do you think he was surprised that Australians were so kind to them?
4. What do you think living in Australia and furthering his education means to Jefry?
5. Jefry speaks to groups about how small acts of kindness can change a life. Do you agree? Why or why not?
1. Drifting in the sea: Write a one or two-page short story about what it must have been like to be a refugee coming to a new country by boat but, like Jefry, getting caught in a storm and losing your way. What must a person be thinking, fearing or hoping? When you are finished with your story share it with your class.
2. A quote for Jefry: To begin Jefry’s story, intern Superanse Nduwarugira shares a quote, ‘Just as you cannot count or number the stars in the sky, you also cannot count or number the opportunities that the world has in store for you.’ She says that meeting Jefry showed her how true this quote is. What quote do you think of after you’ve read Jefry’s story? (If necessary, you can find a quote online). After you have chosen a quote, write a half-page reflection on why you chose the quote and why you found Jefry’s story inspiring.
For younger students
Acts of kindness: Teachers can read the story to students or summarise it for them. What are three deeds you could do for someone today? Students can draw them on a piece of white paper and write a short description of them below. When they are finished, students can share their three acts of kindness with the class and how it could help others.
For further learning
1. What do you think of Jefry’s story and his success in Australia?
2. What would others (including the Catholic Church) think of Jefry travelling by boat to Australia without a visa?
3. Why do others think this of asylum seekers?
4. How has reading Jefry’s story expanded your views of asylum seekers fleeing to Australia?
5. Write a paragraph reflecting on what you’ve learned from Jefry’s story.