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Oakey High acknowledges Harmony Day

Imagine Australia without spaghetti, croissants, sushi, fried rice and pizza!
Diversity makes Australia a great place in which to live and Harmony Day, on March 21, provided an opportunity throughout our nation to officially celebrate that cultural diversity.
 Since 1945 more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia, and apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Spanish and Hindi.
Splashes of orange (the official colour of Harmony Day) were visible throughout Oakey High School on the day as students and staff acknowledged the occasion and this year’s theme of ‘Everyone Belongs’. Indigenous students fashioned orange ribbon for the celebrations.

With almost 70 students identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander , and more than 40 students and several members of staff  born overseas,  Harmony  Day enabled the school community to reflect on the cultural diversity within.
Oakey High’s International  Leader  Amanda Cavanha  enlisted the support of other school leaders and students to organise the celebrations on the day.
“Learning more about the cultures and customs of those around us will help us to better understand our differences,” Brazilian born Amanda reminded her fellow students.
“Differences are not bad.  The variety of foods, ways of dressing, languages, customs and beliefs are being embraced to ensure that everybody in our society is included, and celebrated for their uniqueness. Harmony Day is a day to celebrate and learn more about the things that make us different.”
Student Council President Angela Oliquino was born in The Philippines.
“In addition to the Australian Indigenous culture, our school has eight international cultures represented within our student population, so on Harmony Day we shared a small sweet taste from  some of those cultures at lunchtime to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity,” Angela explained.
Filipino and Brazilian students, dressed in national dress from their homelands, provided a colourful spectacle as they served the treats to a very appreciative crowd.