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Loyola College in Australia celebrated Harmony Day in style yet again this year with a day packed full of activities for the whole school community. The aim of Harmony Day is to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity and our particular focus for this year was in line with the College theme – Walking with Others.

In the morning’s extended mentor session, each mentor group created a thumbprint tree branch to add to their College House tree. This is to symbolise that we are all linked together by the branches and the trunk of the tree, but that each fingerprint is unique. Each of these leaves adds to the beauty and fullness of the tree, just as each person in Australia helps to make our country the wonderfully diverse place that it is.

Students moved from extended mentor straight to an assembly where we heard from guest speaker, Ahmed Hassan. Hassan is the 21year-old co-founder of the organisation Youth Activating Youth that assists disadvantaged multicultural Australian youth to re-engage in their communities. Hassan inspired our students to be active members of their community and to engage with other young people as he believes that the youth are the key to helping other youth. Hassan’s sentiments resonated with many of our students and worked hand-in-hand with the ideas behind many of our social justice initiatives which were presented to the students at the assembly by other staff and students.

At the conclusion of the assembly, the school community filed out onto the oval in house groups to mark out the letters for the word ‘HARMONY’. This display of teamwork and harmony was captured on a drone camera by our talented staff member, Jacob Gasparini, and shared to our social media sites for the wider community to enjoy.

Harmony-Day-2018

In each class throughout the day, students learnt about a variety of people who have migrated to Australia and had a great impact on our nation. The students learnt about the stories of celebrities such as Anh Do, Manu Feidel and Mirka Mora.

At lunchtime the school yard was transformed into a mini-festival with a range of celebrations on offer for students to enjoy. These activities ranged from international food stalls to dancing to international tunes played by JRB Services to Japanese Calligraphy to K-Pop dancing and singing. It was such a pleasure to see the joy on our students’ faces as they come together to make the most of the day.

All feedback indicates it was a successful day where students’ growth of intercultural understanding and empathy was evident. We hope that the creations of the day, such as the house trees and the HARMONY drone footage continue to serve as a reminder of the importance of celebrating our cultural diversity and ‘Walking with Others’.