School celebrates diverse student population this Harmony Week

Students from St Benedict’s College Mango. 

Mango Hill school St Benedict’s College has the most students born outside Australia than any other of Brisbane Catholic Education’s (BCE) 146 schools - which range from the Gold Coast to the Fraser Coasts and inland to the Lockyer Valley and Burnett region.  

Across the board, BCE schools are known for their diversity, with 77,000 plus students born in 145 countries and speaking 155 different languages. 

“We are BCE’s most diverse when it comes to students born outside of Australia,” explains St Benedict’s College Acting Principal Alison Gilbert.
“We have students born in 42 different countries. Some of our largest student populations include United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Columbia to name a few.” 

The Acting Principal called the school “a place where all students feel they belong.” 

“Our students are reaping the benefits of being part of a multicultural school community,” she says.  

“They’re exposed to different cultural perspectives and ways of thinking which can broaden their minds and help them develop a more global outlook.  

She says the school is celebrating Harmony Week by creating a special cookbook they’ve called A Taste of Harmony. 

“The recipes come from our staff and school community who share their favourite cultural dish or a dish which means something to them. 

“Some of the dishes include curries and desserts. My personal favourite from a staff member, Alex Ting, is called Long Life Noodles.” 

BCE’s Head of Education Marisa Dann says, “at BCE we pride ourselves on the number of diverse cultures and backgrounds represented across our 146 schools.”   

“We have students born all over the world and languages spoken by our students at home include Vietnamese, Punjabi, Arabic, Malayalam, Korean, Dinka, and Mandarin,” she says. 

“We believe that this diversity enriches the educational experience for our students, fosters a greater understanding and respect for different perspectives and ways of life, and prepares our students to be global citizens who thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.  

“In line with our Catholic social teachings, BCE is committed to supporting all students and families so that they feel welcomed, respected, included, and safe within our school communities.”  

Harmony Week (20-26 March) is a celebration recognising diversity, bringing Australians together from all diverse backgrounds. The day is about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone.  

Students work on publishing a recipe called Bennie’s Bites – one from the school’s cookbook, A Taste of Harmony.jpg
Students work on publishing a recipe called Bennie’s Bites – one from the school’s cookbook, A Taste of Harmony.

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