House debates

Monday, 14 July 2014

Statements by Members

Kingsford Smith Electorate: South Sydney High School

1:39 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I congratulate the students, staff and families of South Sydney High School on a very successful multicultural flags ceremony, on 20 June, which I was fortunate to attend. Their flags ceremony is a celebration of our nation's greatest asset: our diversity and our multiculturalism. A traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony was performed by Dean Kelly and there was a welcome to country from Aunty Fay. Students then paraded 60 national flags and the Aboriginal flag, representing the cultures and nations that make up the diverse student body. It was a wonderful snapshot of diversity in our community. Students wore traditional dress, sang songs and performed dance, representing their heritage and history. It was finished off by an awesome performance of the haka, from Pacific Islander students.

Of course, with multiculturalism comes culinary diversity. At the conclusion of the ceremony, students ate food from the various cultural backgrounds that were part of the flags ceremony. Not one person left the room without a smile on their face or without feeling positive about multiculturalism in our community. It was a celebration of what makes the Kingsford Smith community and Australia so great. I congratulate the principal, Robyn Matthews, and my good friend Dave Haggart for their organisation and, of course, I congratulate the wonderful students who were involved in the organisation of the South Sydney High School's multicultural flags ceremony.