This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Harmony Day, which coincides with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The SRC marked the day with a very powerful assembly for the whole school and helped to organise 60 cultural biography posters of our staff. These eye catching posters are displayed throughout the school. They will also be on display in the Library and community members are very welcome to come and view them. Thank you to Mr Wu and Ms Annan for all their organisation of these.
Marica Stipanovic , the Anti-Racism Education Advisor from the Department of Education’s Learning and Teaching Directorate very kindly donated 35 REJECT RACISM t-shirts to the SRC members to wear on Harmony Day. The students stood at the top of the assembly in their t-shirts sending a very powerful message to the school community.
A number of students shared their thoughts and personal experiences with the school at the assembly.
Ryan Britt from Year 8 reminded us that since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have made Australia their new home, making us the second largest multicultural nation in the world.
Tabitha Sharp from Year 10 shared her favourite Harmony Day quote-
Lanna Hamilton provided some insight into what we have achieved as a nation, however, she reminded us that we cannot become complacent and we need to continue to work hard to build and maintain harmony in our communities.
“Australia has made significant progress regarding improving harmony amongst ethnic backgrounds. Whilst once it was socially acceptable to segregate and chastise individuals based on their ethnicity and religious beliefs, we have made great strides to change this.”
Liam Clark from Year 11 concluded the assembly with a very powerful speech.
Liam is a local Dharawal man and student in Year 11. He was recently selected to participate in the National NRL Indigenous All Stars Youth Summit in Melbourne.
I want to share my own stories about Racism.
While in Melbourne at the All Stars Youth Summit I learned many things.
One story that really stuck with me was a story of one girl.
She told us about hockey.
She told us about a parent on the sideline.
She told us about the abuse the parent was screaming, because she was Aboriginal.
She told us about the anger and disgust and hurt that she felt.
I have felt these things too.
Someone close to me.
I’ve had people close to me tell me that I’m not Aboriginal and I shouldn’t claim to be.
I’ve had people tell me they muted the TV because the Indigenous Anthem was playing and say it was a “silent protest”
I remember one other thing that a young girl said at Melbourne.
“When there is racism around, don’t fire back with negativity and hate. Fire back with education and knowledge as to why it should be said and why it is wrong.”
Let’s commit to learning with each other about culture and race.