(A Harmony Day speech spoken by Phoebe for her school assembly)
Good day everyone,
Today’s assembly is for Harmony Day, a day which celebrates diversity. But I’m not here to talk about what this day truly is or to tell any stories, I’m here for appreciating. I’m appreciating Australia in general for having an open community of accepting and having us – people from overseas, to live and receive the same service and education. My relatives and friends, who are living in other countries, sometimes cannot enjoy a good time as they experience racism. They suffer the hardship of being discriminated against by the community as their culture did not match. I’m appreciating Australian Science and Mathematics School in particular for having such a multicultural environment so that there is friendship between the international and the native students. Other schools, or specifically the school I first entered in Australia, had very strong international program which was extremely helpful for international students to adapt as they provided a private lounge for us. It was a good thing, definitely a good thing because we could make friends with other international students, including friends who had the same ethnic backgrounds. I had such a wonderful time there. However, when I moved to the ASMS, I encountered a big shock of language barrier since this school is full of Aussies and I was used to listening to an international style instead of the local accent. Then, after spending 7 weeks here, I realized that I do not need an international private place anymore because I can mostly be friends with any type of person. Personally, I found it easy to gain friends from various nationalities as everyone is just so friendly to talk to. I even forget how introverted I was in the last few months. I now have many friends at this school, anywhere I go, I can always spot someone I know to say hello or even ask for help.
Can you imagine a reserved girl who nearly burst into tears just with answering a question in class is now standing in front of a whole big crowd sharing herself? That’s all thanks to you guys. My friends here have been giving me a hand to get out of my own world. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you for making me forget the shyness of being different. My dear friends, thank you for everything.