Port Kembla schoolchildren will share tales of their grandparents’ wartime survival, unlikely international romances and long journeys to Australia this morning as they celebrate Harmony Day.
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School is one of many Illawarra schools celebrating the national day, which this year is centred on the theme ‘‘Many Stories – One Australia’’.
Celebrations will begin with the launch of a book containing students’ own stories about their migrant grandparents’ lives in countries such as Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Vietnam and Spain.
Kindergarten teacher Amy Sammut said it was important for St Patrick’s children – who come from a range of cultural and social backgrounds – to celebrate their rich heritage.
‘‘It’s a chance to involve the whole school community by inviting parents and grandparents, as well as friends and other people from our parish, so we can celebrate cultural diversity together,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s about what makes us live together, learn together and share our experiences.’’
The school will also host African dancing, Gaelic singing, Brazilian drumming and an international food fiesta.
Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and promotes cultural diversity in schools, community groups and workplaces.