My name is Tianyu Sun, I’m one of your 2023 prefects, and I’m proud to be a representative of the international community here at PAC.
This Tuesday, 21st March, marked the 25th celebration of Harmony Day since the first one in 1999. Harmony Day and Harmony Week, provide an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on, learn about, and – most importantly – celebrate our differences. More than 30% of Australians were born overseas and almost 20% speak another language at home – I, personally, am in both of those groups. This diversity creates a unique social environment throughout the country, and we should be proud of that because it enriches our community, encourages multiple perspectives, and expands our worldview. Prince Alfred College is incredibly fortunate to host a strong international presence within our community, which allows us to interact with a wide variety of cultures from all over the world. The courage that these students have to step out of all of their comfort zones and commit to living in a new country is remarkable, especially when you consider the academic and co-curricular heights many of these boys have achieved. The international community is invaluable to PAC, and we are very grateful for the opportunities provided to us.
The main message of Harmony Week is ‘everyone belongs’, and that’s what we are striving for – an inclusive and supportive community where everyone can flourish. Not somewhere that simply tolerates people from different backgrounds, but rather a place where they belong, where every culture has equal significance and value in the eyes of the community. A great sense of harmony – common purpose and values – has developed within PAC. Whether you are an Adelaide local, an interstate boarder, or an international student flying in from overseas, you can be confident that you will become an integral part of the community here.
In today’s world, it is easy to take for granted the opportunities we have, opportunities to learn about and actually experience cultures from all over the world. No previous generation has had access to the sheer scope of intercultural connection available to us, and I think we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of our privileged position and build a safe, inclusive environment for us all. Harmony Day and Harmony Week are great times to start, but it’s not where the story ends. So go out there, today, this week, and every other week, and find those defining ways to integrate diversity into your lives and create a sense of belonging in our community. Thank you.
Tianyu Sun, Year 12 Prefect