Our Diversity is our Strength
‘Harmony Day recognises the importance of celebrating our cultural heritage and sharing it with others,
building our understanding of other cultures, our differences, our similarities and our shared values.’
Did you know?
– Over the last 70 years seven million migrants have made Australia their home
– Almost half of Australians were born overseas or have a parent who was
– More than 200 countries make up our Australian community and 300 languages are spoken.
Harmony Day, held each year on 21 March, celebrates our cultural diversity. This year’s theme ‘Our diversity is our strength’, encourages inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Both the Junior School and Senior School students took part in Harmony Day celebrations.
Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year marks 50 years since the declaration day and St Catherine’s has marked this with displays, a quiz and next Term’s Senior School Cultural Diversity Assembly. To bring awareness to this important celebration, the student School Spirit and Wellbeing Club (the ‘A Team’) and the International Club have collaborated to produce a colourful display of positive messages and posters around the School.
Led by their Captains Serena Clark and Cynthia Jiang, these activities and displays are a reminder of not only the magnificent diversity of Australia, including our Indigenous culture, but of our own St Catherine’s community. These celebrations create opportunities for all of us to think, discuss and recognise how our differences enrich St Catherine’s School and Australia. To mark our cultural diversity and what it means to us, the girls created multi coloured flags and displayed bunting around the School. Each flag featured a positive word or message, some written in the language of some of our international students, noting what diversity and harmony means to them.
A Harmony Day Quiz has also been running each day to prompt the answers at the beginning of this article. Questions have included: what percentage of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas? How many migrants have made Australia their home since the end of the Second World War? How many ancestries do Australians identify with? The answers to these questions have been displayed on posters throughout the School and the first five students who submitted correct answers received a prize.
The students also had a lot of fun creating a hand-made insta-frame to take photos of Harmony Day messages which explored how diversity makes St Catherine’s or Australia an enriched community. The girls were given the opportunity to be photographed holding up their completed sentence, which began with ‘our diversity is our strength, because together we…’ Junior School students enjoyed creating a patchwork of heart-shaped flags, with a special dedication to Australia’s Indigenous population.