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The importance of togetherness at Albuera Street Primary School

THE air at Albuera Street Primary School was filled with the delicous aromas of multicultural cuisine during its Harmony Day festivities last month (21 March).

Albuera Street celebrated its diversity with a whole-school breakfast, which saw each of the school’s 270 students bring dishes that reflected their culture.

Albuera Street teacher Michelle De Paoli said considering the recent tragedies around the world, it was important for the school community to come together to shine a light on peace and understanding.

“Harmony Day Breakfast at Albuera Street is my favourite whole-school event of the year,” she said.

“The smiles on the students’ faces as their parents or grandparents explain the stories behind their delicious cultural food, the way our students and teachers celebrate tasting the extraordinary variety of food and the manner in which all our families come together to celebrate the cultural diversity of school is heart warming.

“You get the genuine sense that our school creates an environment where everyone belongs.”

Mrs De Paoli said Albuera Street valued and promoted intercultural understanding which was enhanced by students learning the Chinese language and forging a relationship with their sister school, Beijing No. 80 High School in Beijing China.

“A memorandum of understanding was signed with our sister school following a visit from our principal Kerry McMinn and myself in October in 2015,” she said.

“We also hosted Chinese students in three of our classes this term.”

Harmony Day is an Australian Government initiative that celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and promotes inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

Some thoughts from Albuera Street Primary School students about Harmony Day:

“Harmony Day is great because you share your food and cultures,” said Tom, seven.

“It is lots of fun, it is having happiness in the world,” said Millie, seven.

“To me Harmony Day is about getting together with friends and family and respecting people who fought for us but we do not want fighting in the world anymore,” said Marcus, eight.

“Harmony Day is about sharing people’s cultures, respecting each other and trying other people’s food,” said Freya, seven.

Caption: Albuera Street Primary students, from left, Ayumi Ishikawa, five, Sophia Khan, eight, Elise Moult, five and Genevieve Valentine, seven, during the whole-school Harmony Day Breakfast.

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