On Friday, April 5, St. B’s boys were transported to Australia for the annual Multicultural Fair.
Keeping with tradition, the day began with an all-school assembly. Everyone sang a special song, Waltzing Matilda, and then enjoyed a Kindergarten performance of a song about the Kookaburra. The boys learned about the history of Australia in a video that included interviews with teachers who had recently visited Australia. The boys especially enjoyed seeing their teachers’ reactions to a taste of Vegemite, a popular snack in Australia. Some brave boys had tasted Vegemite as part of the Australian-themed lunch on Thursday, which also included delicious meat pies, crash hot potatoes, and Lamington for desert.
The assembly continued with a performance by Cameron McCarthy, an aboriginal Australian didgeridoo artist. In addition to playing several didgeridoos, Mr. McCarthy demonstrated how the instrument worked. The boys were delighted to learn how to distinguish between the bounce of a kangaroo and the call of wild birds. After Mr. McCarthy performed some traditional dances, the stage was handed over to animals from The Wild Animal Park and their handlers. A highlight for many was seeing a young kangaroo, or joey.
After the assembly, the boys were given their passports and maps and were invited to explore the interactive exhibits in the medium gym. Boys panned for gold and learned ball handling techniques for popular Australian sports. They played instruments with Mr. McCarthy and admired shields and paintings from Arnhem Land and the Cape depicting the ritual and cultural life of Australian Aboriginals. Many boys helped paint a canvas inspired by dot paintings unique to Australian Aboriginal art. Boys experienced the Great Barrier Reef through an immersive installation including live sea creatures in aquariums and virtual deep dives through Interactive Augmented Reality. The boys put on Virtual Reality goggles and further explored the land and reefs of Australia. A highlight for many boys was learning about the amazing wildlife found in Australia. They were able to look closely at a kangaroo, a joey, a kookaburra, and an emu. Some brave boys touched, or even held, a blue tongued skink, a bearded dragon, and a carpet python. As they made their way from station to station, boys paused to take a photo with the kangaroo mascot or spin the Dangerous Creatures wheel. The energy at the fair was phenomenal, and everyone had a terrific time!
This fair would not have been possible without the many parent volunteers who helped, many of whom donated countless hours of their time. Huge thanks to the Parents Association and the Multicultural Fair co-chairs, Gopal C. and John W. They worked tirelessly to create an immersive experience. Special thanks to the parent volunteers who created the different stations at the fair: Richard A., Elliott B., Geoffrey D., DJ M., Alan O., Yuga P., Marean P., Llyod S., and Kiane V. Many thanks to Mika B., Erin D., Amy G., and Anne M. for all they did to make this event a success. Many thanks to the countless parents, teachers, and staff members who contributed to making this day so special. The Multicultural Fair is one of several events that can only happen with through collaboration, hard work, and generosity. St. B’s is grateful to all who contributed to this year’s fair!