From our 2023 Senior School Captains: Harmony Week

Charlotte S and James L | Grammar News | 24 March 2023

On Tuesday this week, we as a School took part in Harmony Day, a national day that celebrates the diversity that we have here in Australia.


Australia, by its very nature, is a multicultural society, filled with a variety of different nationalities, cultures, religions and perspectives that make up all levels of our society. Harmony Day, a day that emphasises the need for inclusivity and diversity, encourages all Australians, no matter their cultural background or nationality, to come together and live in harmony. As proud Australians, we should cherish our differences, as we all have unique backgrounds that help us to form our identity.


Despite this contemporary diversity, Australia hasn’t always been a multicultural nation, in fact, it has almost been quite the opposite. Let's look into a brief history of Australia’s diversity. The White Australia Policy was a policy in place that restricted the immigration of non-European ethnic groups to Australia, originating in 1901 under European colonisation. In its duration, the White Australia Policy was highly divisive and racist, prohibiting foreign immigrants to Australia, and therefore sustaining an absence of diversity. Thankfully though, it was replaced by a policy of multiculturalism allowing any ethnic groups to migrate to this country with the right to express their culture freely, without the fear of ridicule or judgment.


Events such as the Second World War and the Vietnam War also significantly increased immigration rates from a range of different countries, extending Australia’s diverse landscape. Today, Australia is defined as a multicultural nation and a successful one at that, and Harmony Day reminds us to celebrate each other's uniqueness in our nation, as well as to emphasise the importance of diversity for our society. Having diversity in our community creates understanding of different perspectives and ideas, all of equal value. Having alternative views can help spark positive change, development and justice for critical issues, and help bring stability to society. Not only this, but diversity also brings uniqueness to our society, whether it's various foods, traditions, festivals, sports, activities and customs - to all aspects that we cherish in our society. Multiculturalism in Australia continues to have such a positive impact on our nation, whether we can always see it or not.


So, as we finish off this week’s short segment, we encourage you to cherish the uniqueness in your life and the people around you. Harmony Day, although only officially once a year, should be everyday - we should include, tolerate and celebrate the range of cultures and diversity we have here in Australia.


That’s all from us today and have a great week and rest of the term.


See you around!
Char and James