GALLERY: Granville pupils in harmony

There was lots of colour in the playground at Holy Family Primary School from pupils’ national costumes for Harmony Day.

More than 30 nationalities are enrolled at the east Granville school.

They wore Nepalese, Portugese, Vietnamese, Syrian, Lebanese, Chinese, Tongan, Fijian, Sudanese, Ghanian, Scottish and other costumes today.

Principal Sue Guilfoyle said the school’s celebrations, now in their fifth year, included a Brazilian dance performance, cultural picnic and prayer.

‘‘It makes it such a rich experience for the children, particularly when we’re doing things around storytelling,’’ she said.

‘‘People bring their own cultural stories to the experience.

‘‘We’ve all come together from different parts of the world but we’re one family here at Holy Family.’’

Mrs Guilfoyle said classroom activities centred around diversity and acceptance.

‘‘They’ve shared stories, they’ve been doing different craft activities and they’ve talked about what it means to accept one another — however we look, or sound, or wherever we come from,’’ she said.

‘‘We have a couple of Iraqi refugees who only arrived in Australia last year.

‘‘To hear their story of waiting in Turkey before they could then emigrate here to Australia was very poignant.

‘‘For our Syrian children at the moment whose families are caught up in the troubles in Syria it was good for them to hear one another’s stories too, and be able to empathise.’’

Mrs Guilfoyle said empathy was at the heart of Harmony Day celebrations.

‘‘I think perhaps some of our politicians could learn a little bit from the hearts and minds of the children in how welcoming and embracing they are of people in need who want to come and live in a country as safe and as beautiful as Australia,’’ she said.

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