2024 United Nations Day: Canterbury College Multicultural Celebration | Event Wrap & First Release Photos!

More than 1,650 ELC – Year 12 students, 300 staff and 945 parents, carers, siblings, relatives, family friends and alumni from Canterbury College’s fast-growing Logan school community, have transformed their campus Events Centre into a major one-day multicultural festival.

The private coeducational Anglican school’s final day of Term 2 featured their newly annual United Nations Day, to truly celebrate the College’s estimated 80 dialects from 60 different countries, represented by an extremely diverse international student body.

“United Nations Day is not a typical style of school event,” Principal Mr Dan Walker said.

“As an event that now attracts nearly 2,900 participants, it is enormous and welcoming.

“Our school is in the centre of Logan City, the most diverse city in Queensland, and one of the most diverse in Australia.

“And that is why UN Day at Canterbury College is so important, as it works from the basic assumption that from all the lands on earth, many chose to make Australia their home.

“Yet we all still hold onto the culture, language, kinship, tradition and religion from our past.”

Now in its fourth year, after very humble beginnings in 2020 under heavy COVID restrictions, Canterbury’s UN Day now features 20 traditional cuisines originating from Africa, Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, The Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, Australasia and every Asian region – entrees, mains and desserts proudly prepared and served by school parents and friends.

Complementing the global food and drink stalls, was a full on-stage 2.5-hour performance schedule covering dances, music and songs from Malaysia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, India, Tonga, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Cook Islands, Fiji and Africa.

These performances were all choreographed and rehearsed by the students themselves, with a little help from their friends, siblings and parents.

The festival followed the College’s opening formal ceremony which included a First Nations’ Welcome To Country and Smoking Ceremony with the didgeridoo, performed by the local Indigenous Mununjali and Logan Elders – from proud clans of this region’s Yugambeh people.

Senior School Global Studies Teacher Mrs Jennifer Wu – Taiwanese-born with a Korean husband she met while they were both working in Japan – was the event guest speaker, who recounted her 30 years’ experience absorbing Australia’s very different norms, culture and language.

Principal Mr Dan Walker’s official address covered how Canterbury College is ‘Different Together’ – explaining how not being all the same is the school’s greatest strength.

That regardless of religion, gender, sexuality or culture, students and families have a home at Canterbury.

And that we draw on these different life experiences, stories, backgrounds and values to learn from one another and to make our community stronger.

The event was blessed by Canterbury’s College Chaplain Father Dan Talbot and VIP guest – Anglican Bishop John Roundhill, before the ceremonial highlight of the official ‘Parade Of Nations Flag Ceremony’, where students carried the flag of their cultural background through the large crowd and onto the stage for display.

Other cultural activities included a special Indigenous dance performance, Indigenous weaving, an interactive Digital Map Of Origin where guests plotted their traditional home cities on a world map, Indian henna tattoos, face painting, plus various arts and crafts.

UN Day is now easily the biggest Canterbury College school community event and looks set to only expand with each passing year.

“When we celebrated this event for the first time in 2020, there were four dance numbers and about 40 plastic chairs laid out in front of the school canteen,” Principal Mr Dan Walker said.

“Most in the community didn’t even know it was on, and at the end of that day, the organising teacher Mr Chris Nield and I thought we ‘might’ be onto something, but weren’t even sure it would happen again.”

“But it has grown, boy oh boy, it has grown. I can now see a future when this event could be one of the pre-eminent cultural and food festivals in Logan.

“That would be a remarkable thing for our school community and for this city.”

Proceeds from the day are going to the Multicultural Australia Work & Welcome Program.

The first batch of released event photos are attached to the MyCC News Article HERE.