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Tuesday, April 1st 2014

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Social Justice Harmony Week

Social Justice Harmony Week

In past weeks, we at Newman College, have acknowledged Harmony Day in a variety of different ways. Our objective has always been to use Harmony Day to 'break down the barriers'. Last year we had a visit from the Australian Islamic School and this year we decided to work closer to home and used it as a chance to spend some time with the students in Education Support.

At the Social Justice Camp held at the College overnight from Friday 7 March to Saturday afternoon, 8 March, the students decided not to just have Harmony Day, but to make it Harmony Week. This began on Monday 17 March with the SJG (Social Justice Group)/MAD (Make a Difference) students learning origami over morning tea up in the Education Support Centre. On Tuesday during recess, there was a concert in the Music Room and the Education Support students experimented with some percussion instruments. At lunchtime on Wednesday, the inaugural Ping Pong Challenge took place in the Sports Complex, much to the delight of the Education Support and SJG/MAD students. For morning tea on Thursday, some of the senior members of the Social Justice Group brought along cupcakes, which were decorated and later eaten, and on Friday, the Harmony Day sausage sizzle took place on the balcony overlooking the oval. This week of events was planned as just the beginning to greater involvement and inclusion of the Education Support students. It was a huge success and enjoyed by all who were involved.

Please click here for photos together with an article of the abovementioned events.

Jenny Lindsay, Social Justice Group Mentor

Below, an article from Alannah Patterson, Social Justice Captain, Year 12

Over Week 7 of Term 1, Newman College celebrated a week of activities promoting harmony within the College community, culminating in Harmony Day on Friday 21 March. The emphasis for our Harmony Week celebrations was inclusivity ‘in our own backyard’. In previous years, we have acknowledged and cast aside large-scale cultural differences between Australians; but in 2014, we focussed on closing the divide between Ed Support students and the rest of our campus.

Each day saw the Social Justice Group collaborating with a different College department in our activities with Ed Support. Monday had a ‘languages’ focus, and students were treated to a lesson in Japanese origami; each created their own paper puppy to take home and share with family. On Tuesday, students gathered in the music department for an ‘exclusive’ concert hosted by Year 7 instrumentalists, and experimentation with percussion. Wednesday was a resounding highlight among students, featuring an intense staff-student ping pong rally. On Thursday, SJG students baked and iced cupcakes and provided tools for our Ed Support guests to decorate them and enjoy at home. Finally, an array of staff and students joined Ed Support on the scenic Sports Complex balcony for a communal sausage sizzle. Here, we wrapped up our fun-filled week and reminded one another of the message behind it: the importance of inclusivity and harmony on even the smallest of scales.

The aim of our Harmony Week experience was to ignite an ongoing bond between students, one that casts aside the veil of special needs to reveal gifts each has the potential to offer to another. Our celebration will act as a stimulus for continued interaction between SJG, the Ed Support department, and the wider College community.

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