Our Refugee Community
Hamilton Boys’ High School is privileged to welcome refugee students from over 35 countries, and who speak 8 languages. As a school community, we are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for young men whose families have fled war, political unrest, and persecution in their homelands. We recognise the very real hardships involved in making a new life in a new country, and with open hearts and minds we seek to ensure that every refugee student reaches his full potential in his time at the school.
Alongside specialist English language teaching and dedicated learning support, we also offer targeted pastoral and financial support to those in special need and hardship. The school has recently appointed Ms Naaz Shah to the position of Refugee Coordinator to oversee the educational success and social integration of all refugee students.
Led by Ms Shah, the Multicultural Manaaki Centre offers students personalised one-on-one or small group tuition from a committed group of teachers and senior academic honours students. Annual religious events such as Diwali, Eid, and Easter are celebrated with guest speakers and a shared meal at the Homework Centre, and offer an opportunity for all present to learn about and respect the cultural traditions of others. Tolerance and good will emerge first and foremost from an understanding of both our similarities and our differences.
Refugee students at HBHS have the opportunity to attend free learn to swim classes in the summer, and enjoy a well-earned reputation as talented football players who represent their school teams with pride. In the wake of the March terror attacks last year, the school was incredibly proud to inaugurate the annual lunchtime “brotherhood” football match, with a refugee team playing a selected HBHS team in front of the whole school on the Number One Football field.
As Headmaster, Susan Hassall frequently reminds our school community, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians). It is in the spirit of faith, hope, and love that we bid our refugee students.
Haere mai and welcome.