The ‘Thankful Thursday’ mantra is often spoken by me towards the end of the week when communicating with students, staff, community members, Girls Grammar families and my own. As the end of Term 1 draws near, my “Thankful Thursday’ thoughts are even more pertinent with many examples from the past week and throughout Term 1 to draw upon.
My aim in expressing what I am grateful for, what and who I appreciate and why, through sharing my Thankful Thursday thoughts is to promote positivity across our school community. Encouraging others to recognise the good things in life, even when faced with challenges or difficult situations such as meeting deadlines, completing assessments and sitting exams (for students) or marking and report card writing (for staff) we are cultivating an environment of positive mindsets, reducing stress and anxiety and improving overall wellbeing.
This week I felt extremely grateful and proud of the way our school came together to recognise Harmony Day, an annual event celebrated in Australia on the 21st of March. The day promotes cultural diversity, respect, and inclusiveness among all people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, or beliefs.
On Tuesday, staff participated in a shared morning tea where a range of cuisines were brought in and shared as a celebration of cultural diversity, nationalities and backgrounds of our staff, providing the opportunity to gather together, learn more about one another whilst enjoying in a delicious selection of foods. Our Year 11 and 12 hospitality students hosted their Harmony Day Luncheon on the same day. As part of their assessment the girls were tasked with selecting a culture to study; from this they researched recipes and selected a dish to prepare and serve to an invited guest. There was an array of dishes including Tandoori chicken, handmade ravioli, Jamaican chicken, burritos, tacos and so much more! The girls did an excellent job in representing their chosen culture through their cuisine and I can personally vouch for the delicious tasting Pad Thai, Jamaican Chicken followed by Tiramisu that I had the pleasure of tasting. Thanks girls!
Wednesday’s Harmony Day celebrations during Sister’s meetings provided an opportunity for students to learn and appreciate different cultures and traditions as they rotated through activities inspired by nations around the world.
At Girls Grammar we see Harmony Day as an essential day of recognition to foster appreciation and build awareness of the cultural backgrounds of our students and their families, whilst promoting a widespread understanding of various cultures around the world. Providing the opportunity to learn about diverse cultural practices, students become more empathetic and respectful towards others, which ultimately creates a more inclusive and cohesive school community. Harmony Day also provides a platform for students to share their cultural heritage and traditions with their peers. This allows students to learn about each other's cultures, creating a more informed and knowledgeable student body.
I am especially thankful for the organisation and planning by our Year 11 students and Care Mentors to provide such a rich cultural experience to students from Prep through to Year 12. The engagement of our Year 11 cohort and encouragement of our older students with our younger girls was very impressive and a joy to watch.
Last Friday we had our largest turnout of students and families at our first Prep - Year 3 afternoon tea party for the year. The very warm weather did not discourage, with more than 70 guests in attendance. Half of these numbers were made up of existing Girls Grammar families, with an additional 10 families attending as prospective Prep or primary families for 2024.
Keeping in theme with my Thankful Thursday mantra, I am ever grateful for the many staff involved with preparations and organisation for events such as these. From community, marketing and events coordinator, enrolments officer, to kitchen and catering staff, facilities and maintenance team, early years staff, student council leaders and prefects all involved to offer an afternoon of delicious treats, painting, beading, dancing, bubbles - and so much more. A big thank you to everyone who joined us!