Celebrating cultural diversity

St Margaret’s is a local school with a global outlook. We aim to educate our young women to be citizens of the world and to view on an international scale the opportunities available to them. To this end, we seek them to engage with a wide range of different cultural perspectives and points of view, to see the richness inherent in a diverse community, and to become socially aware and open-minded.

The diversity of our school community is an invaluable asset that continually broadens our girls’ perspectives. St Margaret’s students come from many different countries, and our domestic students represent a broad range of cultural backgrounds and heritages, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Each year we welcome approximately 30 Year 10 exchange students from all over the world, as well as many students on international school tours. Our staff, too, are a diverse group, with many hailing from overseas and bringing a wealth of experience and global perspectives to enrich our students’ learning. Too often, however, we take this beautiful mosaic of our community for granted.

On 7 June, in partnership with the international student group, the Student Representative Council (SRC) hosted “Diversity Day”, a celebration of the multiculturalism of the St Margaret’s community. Students were treated to a feast of beautiful food and snacks from a broad range of different cultures, much of which was donated by St Margaret’s students and staff. They also enjoyed music and games from many different cultures and decorated Circular Drive with drawings of their cultural symbols and messages of intercultural friendship. They could also indicate their cultural heritage on a map, thereby creating a visual representation of our school’s rich diversity.

The atmosphere was joyful and welcoming, and students’ enthusiasm could not even be dampened by some unexpected rain. It was wonderful to see students proudly displaying the symbols of their culture and dancing to their favourite music, and of course, students were particularly eager to sample the delicious treats from all over the world! With students experiencing some of what their peers love most about their own cultures, we hope this event will inspire their curiosity about different cultures and help forge stronger connections, deeper understanding and appreciation among all members of our community.

Written by St Margaret’s Secondary Teacher, Ms Jenny Matheson