Schools embrace Harmony Week

SCHOOLS in the northern suburbs have celebrated Harmony Week through a number of colourful, fun and entertaining events promoting diversity and inclusiveness.

As part of Harmony Week and the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, Cosgrove High School turned into a sea of colour.

Students covered themselves in a multitude of bright colours and participated in a colour run to take a stand against bullying and deliver the message that everyone belongs.

Other events held throughout the week included a multicultural luncheon and the traditional inter-school sports day called the Harmony Cup.

Principal Andrew Woodham said it was important for students to recognise the impacts bullying and violence had on schools and the broader community.

“We want to equip our students with strategies that can best deal with that, and that there are supports and ways in which we as a school can support students around these issues,” he said.

Mr Woodham said the events at Cosgrove High School showed the school’s unity in their stance against bullying.

“We’re taking a bit of a positive slant on it by showing that we support each other and get together, and it really encapsulates our school motto, which is ‘each for all’,” he said.

Cosgrove vice-captain Jackson Steel said it was great to see everyone come together.

“It’s good to have days like these so students can be aware of what’s happening at school with bullying and violence,” he said.

“This plays a big part for Harmony Week because the week is pretty much what we’re all about – celebrating by coming together as a school and as one.

“A lot of students have been opening their ears and listening to what we have to say about violence and bullying at Cosgrove High School, and this is a really good example of how we can come together as one and leave all our differences and thoughts behind.”

Jackson said one of the school’s multicultural groups, known as Multipride, played an important role in organising the celebrations, with students spending time after school putting the events together.

“Multipride is a multicultural group that comes together every Wednesday to talk about issues regarding our school, and to stop racism and bullying wherever they are,” he said.

At Goodwood Primary School, more than 170 students, parents and other community members enjoyed a multicultural lunch cooked and prepared by students and staff using fresh produce from the school garden.

Students also displayed their artwork and participated in a number of activities.

Advanced support teacher Hugo Luttmer said it was important for students to recognise what Harmony Week was about.

“The theme of the holiday was all about inclusiveness and people understanding that we’re all different, but we’re all the same,” he said.

“We were trying to help all of the students understand the people from different cultures from around the world and within our own community.”

Students embraced the day and showed their support by wearing orange.

Mr Luttmer said the theme of inclusiveness was something that every school should make a top priority.

“It’s crucial for any school to be a successful and happy place,” he said.

“We really strongly believe that part of our job is to educate all of the students at our school to be culturally aware to ensure that we all treat everybody the way we would like to be treated.”

Caption: Northern suburbs schools celebrated Harmony Week and the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence with a wave of colour. Photo credit: Emma Aorangi.