St Peters College community celebrates Multicultural Week

If St Peters had to be described as just one thing, all community members would agree, it’d be ‘a family’. Multiculturalism has long characterised both our day and boarding school populations—the cultural diversity on display at our College is one that enhances the overall educational experience. The St Peters Multicultural Week is highly anticipated—from lunch-time dance displays, to evening concerts, foods from around the world and, of course the Parade of Nations ceremony, all community members love to unite to celebrate our differences. 

This tradition is not a new one. In his recent newsletter entry (published in The Rock), Head of College, Mr Tim Kotzur, highlighted the history of celebrating multiculturalism at St Peters. His example drew from the 1960 issue of The Review (an annual College publication).

“Surely colour is not as important as character!” the editorial notes state. “Here at St Peters, virtually isolated from the outside world with its racial strife, we try to set an example…for boys and girls of many nationalities live here together as a community. There is fellowship between students which overrules any national and racial differences. It is to be hoped that this spirit will always prevail within our school, and that our example will always be a Christian one in this respect.”

A Mini United Nations

Mr Kotzur’s article references the frequently used reference to St Peters as a mini United Nations. Today, St Peters students represent an impressive 71 nationalities. In a normal year, this would play out for the whole College to admire at the Parade of Nations ceremony. The ceremony typically sees students proudly walking the Chapel Forecourt strip, behind their national flag of birth, for the rest of the College to see.

While, this year, COVID-19 restrictions prevented the real-time display of the College’s ‘Many Nations, One Family’ (this year's Multicultural Week theme), we did still have the online space. The 2020 Multicultural Committee pre-recorded the Parade of Nations ceremony and it was played to students and staff in Year Level meetings throughout the week. As for other Multicultural Week events, the food and music were still huge hits. Menus at sub-school serveries were inspired by cuisines from around the world and Mr Hurwood joined male Junior High Captain, Max M (Year 9), in playing the bagpipes in line with the Year of Scotland (currently being celebrated around Australia). 

The Bonds of a True Family

It was reassuring to see how adaptable the St Peters community was this year. While the live Multicultural Week events were missed, it was a true testament to the ‘family ties’ within our community, that we could all band together and devise a way to continue to celebrate despite restrictions.

Time and time again, this year, we’ve seen that the bonds within the St Peters community cannot be broken, not even by a pandemic! Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our multiculturalism last week—you are what makes this College family strong. Many nations, one family.