School initiatives

A rainbow of colours and cultures

Students performing at Sydney Town Hall for Harmony DayHundreds of students from several Sydney schools lit up Sydney Town Hall with their bright costumes and exuberant performances in celebration of Harmony Day on March 15.

National Harmony Day promotes the social, cultural and economic benefits provided by Australia's rich cultural and linguistic diversity. It is a simple and powerful way of expressing that there is no place in our community for racial intolerance or disharmony. It also encourages a sense of citizenship and pride in our nation and local community.

A multicultural dance performance by students from Kingsgrove North High School combined Greek, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander dancing.

"It's our way of building a sense of community," said Deputy Principal Kim Jackson about the school's commitment to multicultural programs.

Erana Wiki, a Year 9 student from the group said it was a great idea to have students from different backgrounds perform together.

"It's good because you get to learn about another culture," she said.

From traditional dances and musical performances to rap songs about harmony, the diversity within Sydney schools flourished at this year's Harmony Day celebrations.

"Diversity enriches our classrooms and our communities. It makes us a vibrant society and a productive one," said Ms Carmel Tebbutt, Minister for Education and Training.

"Some of the core values of Australian society - a belief in a fair go for all, a belief that everyone can have a say, and a belief in the value of friendship - are learnt in our playgrounds and our classrooms," she added.

In essence of the Harmony Day spirit, the drama group from Ashfield Public School began its performance with the following narration which they developed themselves:

"And through Ashfield's doors come the cultures of the world. Like the colours of the rainbow each culture comes with its own character and message - Courage, Pride, Spirit, Empathy, Humour, Heart, and Harmony!

And together they made a trail for others to follow out of the darkness... And they formed the most beautiful rainbow to unite the world in the spirit of togetherness."

© 2005 NSW Department of Education and Training

For more information : Read the full report at the New South Wales Department of Education and Training News Room.