Thursday, 5th December, 2019
One of the highlights for me every term is the Principal’s Morning Tea. I always enjoy my ‘fix’ of cake, lollies, potato chips, and friendly chatter. It is a great way to finish a busy term, and reward some Primary students for their good behaviour, display of virtue and strength of character.
The students at my table for this term’s morning tea were a real mix of ethnicities and cultures. A quick survey revealed their family origins in Croatia, the United Kingdom, China, Korea, India and The Philippines. Added to that mix, was my own Italian-German-English-Irish-Scottish heritage … and Lebanese, if you include by marriage!
As new migrants to Australia, my mother and grandparents experienced mainly welcome and friendship, but there was also occasional racism and intolerance. Speaking to some interested parents at Open Day, I saw that this is, sadly, still an issue for families. On their tour of the school, this mum and dad told me they were relieved to see many happy ‘brown faces’ (their words), just like their daughter’s. They knew their daughter would be cherished and accepted at Tangara for who she is.
In his Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis highlighted that it is up to all of us to resist the growing trend towards the “globalization of indifference”:
‘In this scenario, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion … they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills. That attitude is an alarm bell … if it continues, anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalization and exclusion. For this reason, the presence of migrants and refugees is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society … When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow.’
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Tangara is something to truly value. It can never be ‘them’: it is always ‘us’.
Dr Katrina George