SCHOOLS across the region celebrated Harmony Day on Thursday, and nowhere was cultural diversity celebrated more wholeheartedly than at Toronto Adventist School.
Principal Charmony Dias said the school devoted the entire day to Harmony Day lessons and activities.
"Harmony Day is when we teach the children about inclusion, and coming together as a community," Ms Dias said.
"One of the messages is that despite our differences we can still get along. And today is about focusing on the cultural aspects of that."
The children, and some staff, dressed to represent the culture of their choosing.
Parents also got involved, and at lunch provided a smorgasbord of international dining options, including dishes from Mexico, Scotland, India and Australia.
The school started Harmony Day with worship.
The children were then treated to a lesson on Aboriginal culture.
After recess, the children listened to talks about the different cultures of various countries, and then took part in a cultural parade in the quadrangle.
Ms Dias said children were given the choice of which culture to represent on the day.
"Some chose a particular culture because they and their family are part of that culture, and some chose a culture that they were interested in learning more about," she said.
Among the many countries represented on the day were several South American countries, several Pacific Island countries, France, Greece, China, America and Australia.
"It really was a surprise this morning to see so many of the children dressed up, and so many cultures represented," she said.
The children were also invited to speak to the school about their cultural dress, and its country of origin.
Ms Dias said Harmony Day at Toronto Adventist School (formerly Avondale School Toronto Campus) had grown in recent years.
"And we've had so many parents come today and support us. It's been a really great day."
- Visit harmony.gov.au