Harmony Day Celebrated

'Everyone Belongs' is the 2024 theme for Harmony Day and it was on full display and shining brightly as Claver celebrated Harmony Day.

On Wednesday 20 March 2024 our College community came together for a special assembly as a celebration of Australia's cultural diversity and to celebrate inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for all.

The Assembly began with a procession of flags representing the many countries our community members come from. This was followed by a traditional First Nations welcome dance and a prayer of thanks for our rich cultural tapestry. A rousing performance of Steps' '5, 6, 7, 8' by two Year 7s was a Harmony Day first and a 2024 highlight. More than 70 students performed dances of varying significance and cultural meaning from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Thailand, El Salvador, Kiribati and the Philippines. We were even treated to a mother-daughter dance and brother-sister duet which included the return of a past-pupil.

Whist we celebrate Harmony Day in Australia, we acknowledge that worldwide, 21 March holds significance as the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Assistant Principal - Religious Education Angela Ryan said while this event is always whole-heartly supported by staff, it truly is a student lead initiative with Culture Captain Aliyah Ioapo spearheading the organisation and student participation this year. The students value the opportunity to showcase their cultures while respectfully remembering that this day is about the elimination of all forms of racial intolerance.

“Harmony Day is always a great example of Student Voice in action with students planning, leading and promoting the message that everyone belongs," she said. “It also promotes the message that St Peter Claver is an inclusive and safe community, where every day we commit ourselves to knowing each other more."

“It's been an absolute joy to watch the students rehearsing at lunch and after school, embracing their cultures and growing their confidence as they brought this celebration to life for our College community."

“It really comes back to the core of what it means to belong. Belonging is not finding ways to fit in or changing oneself to fit in. It is about feeling accepted for who you are, your authentic self. Expressing our own story and culture and being accepted for who we are is what belonging is all about."

A group of 15 students were also invited to perform dances from Samoa, the Philippines and Africa at St Ann's School, Redbank Plains Harmony Day Showcase.

“The students were proud to share their cultures through dance and also connect with the St Ann's students as one of our Brisbane Catholic Education sister primary schools," said Ms Ryan. “Our students were welcomed into a very caring community of staff, students and families. We were very moved by the liturgy created by Mrs Katie O'Kane, APRE which included the Year 2's performing a beautiful song, 'My Own Two Hands' in which they sang about making the world a better place and peace on earth with their own two hands.

At St Peter Claver College, today and every day we stand against all forms of racial intolerance and discrimination. Today and every day we celebrate that everyone belongs.

All photos from the Harmony Day Assembly can be found in the '2024 Harmony Day' folder under the 'Photos' tab on the Parent Portal.​

© Brisbane Catholic Education, St Peter Claver College 2024.​