Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Message of friendship

Primary school students celebrate multicultural diversity with balloons, armbands.

TONI BRIENT April 1, 2014 4:53am

"We belong": St Joseph's Primary School students release balloons with Harmony Day messages of cultural acceptance.



Orange was the only colour on St Joseph’s Primary School students’ minds during a celebration of cultural diversity on Friday.

Harmony Day is a national day to promote racial equality and ‘cultural respect for anyone who calls Australia home’.

Teacher Jo Bennett said this year was the first time St Joseph’s had participated in the occasion.

Prep to Year 6 students gathered in the schoolyard to sing a song before releasing balloons, which carried messages of social justice.

‘‘Every class wrote a prayer and attached it to their balloon,’’ Mrs Bennett said.

‘‘(They prayed for) things like kindness, acceptance, world peace and no fighting.

‘‘Some put the school address on it and we’re hoping wherever they land, people will contact us.’’

Mrs Bennett said they also made and wore orange bracelets to symbolise social inclusion.

She said the school’s students came from diverse backgrounds and identified strongly with the Harmony Day themes.

‘‘If we look at Australia as a whole, everyone does belong,’’ she said.

Mrs Bennett, who leads the school’s Catholic identity team, said the message fitted with what students were already being taught about social inclusion.

‘‘We teach a lot about acceptance,’’ Mrs Bennett said.

‘‘The kids are taught to treat all God’s children equally.

‘‘Race isn’t even part of it.’’

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