March 26, 2021
Harmony Day is a celebration of Australian cultural diversity. It gives early childhood education an opportunity to celebrate inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for all Australians, from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from countries around the world.
Harmony Day is an initiative of the Australian Government and is an annual day to celebrate our culturally diverse society on 21 March. The colour orange symbolises and supports cultural diversity. Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect.
The continuing message of Harmony Day is ‘Everyone Belongs’. It is about community participation, inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, respect and belonging. It is so important our children are encouraged to respect and embrace cultural differences, especially when our Centre embraces our cultural diversity.
Australia’s cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. Multicultural Australia is an important part of our national identity. All people who migrate to Australia can bring with them their own cultural and religious traditions, as well as taking on many new traditions. Collectively, these traditions have enriched our nation.
Harmony Day is a significant annual day when Australians come together and celebrate our nation’s cultural diversity. In Cooinda, we read a story by Mem Fox called, ‘Whoever You Are‘, and spoke with the children about friendship. We discussed the importance of interacting with others with care, empathy and respect. Developing an essential agreement to enable clear expectations for our Cooinda classroom and showing how the children have received or shown kindness to others. Making their thoughts visible on branches that are growing and spreading kindness and thoughtful behaviour.
An Essential Agreement sees everyone working collaboratively to establish an agreement of how our classroom can be a fantastic place of learning. We have had many discussions with the children in the classroom and together we have decided that the following statement best represents how Cooinda can be a safe and happy place ‘We choose to be kind’. We are kind to ourselves, each other and our environment (respecting things/resources in both our natural and man made environments).
Using common and familiar language allows children to have clear understanding of what is expected of them when they are in Cooinda, which in turn develops and secures a sense of Belonging.
We love seeing our Kindness Tree grow and bloom.