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Message from the CEO: Harmony Week 2020 - Everyone Belongs

Message from the CEO: Harmony Week 2020 – Everyone Belongs

Harmony Day at Macquarie Community College, where 'Everybody Belongs'

With the worries and concerns of the past weeks in our communities about the Covid-19 virus this year for Harmony Day, Macquarie Community College is taking the chance to deepen our personal bonds and intercultural understanding across our very diverse College.

At Macquarie Community College we value, celebrate and encourage the diversity of our College and our communities. The tapestry of life and work at our College is made of many threads – threads of different hues, from different places and with varied strengths. These threads are woven together from the warp and weft of learning new skills together, acquiring knowledge and making friendships here.

Keeping the thread of the social fabric strong

The social fabric of the local communities we serve in northwest and western Sydney has been tested in the past weeks. Many of our students have migrated to Australia and are worried for their family and friends living in countries with significant outbreaks. Our staff and students have been worried about their children not being able to attend school, and they want to protect elderly family members from risk of exposure to the virus. Even worse, some of our students have personally experienced the consequences of unthinking expressions of fear and suspicion simply because of assumptions about them and their cultural backgrounds.

The generosity, pragmatism and selflessness of response in Australian communities to the bushfires, drought and floods of summer seem to have been misplaced (temporarily) with panic, suspicion and selfishness. This too shall pass, but not without leaving a mark.

Keeping our communities strong

We urge all to do their bit to keep our communities strong, to offer a kind word or a cuppa to a neighbour that might be feeling vulnerable or sad, to depend on facts not fears. Stay Calm, Wash your Hands and Open your Hearts seems to me to be a good mantra for these times.

Harmony Day 2020 is a great time to celebrate the richness of working and living in our diverse multicultural communities of learners. This week every class on every campus of the College is hosting a series of celebrations large and small.

This is why Harmony day is one of my favourite days of the year at Macquarie Community College and we always celebrate it. Thus year in particular though I am sure we will take heart from taking the time to live our values around diversity and respect.

Macquarie Community College is an educational community where we “walk together and talk together”regardless of our beliefs, backgrounds, colour, abilities or other “differences” – where everybody belongs.

On a day-to-day basis It means:

  • We practice inclusion in our welcoming environments,
  • We engage and support individuals with all levels of ability,
  • We advocate for the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

I hope you join us in reaching out and speaking out about being welcoming and inclusive – it is this that keeps our social fabric strong and beautiful.

Visit our Facebook or Instagram page to see some of the fun we have been having celebrating our diversity!

Theresa Collignon