StGertrudesCatholicPrimarySchoolSmithfield_News_Art2St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary Smithfield celebrated the diverse backgrounds of its families in art and life when the school hosted a Refugee Week event.

An artwork created by Year 3 student Rachel Liso for Fairfield Emerging Communities Action Partnership’s art competition was one of nine displayed at the school’s Connecting Cultures event.

Rachel’s work won the competition and will be used to promote Fairfield Council’s 2019 Refugee Week celebrations. It is currently on display at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery.

“My artwork is about us all together, as one community to love,” Rachel said. “In my artwork I have refugees that have come from other places and we are looking after them.

“I was very excited [to have won] because I want to be an artist when I grow up. I like to be creative and use things from around the house to make art.”

Part of who we are as a Catholic family is to see Jesus in everybody that we meet.

– Linda O’Regan
Families including the 10 per cent with Syrian and other refugee backgrounds from St Gertrude’s attended the Connecting Cultures event.St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove students who campaigned to support refugees and asylum seekers also attended, invited by the school’s Refugee and Community Liaison Officer. They donated backpacks with stationary for St Gertrude’s refugee students during the visit.

Principal Linda O’Regan said the event was an important one in St Gertrude’s calendar given the schools multiculturalism.StGertrudesCatholicPrimarySchoolSmithfield_News_Art3

“The children come from many different backgrounds,” she said. “Many have been refugees over time, or their families were refugees, so it’s really important we recognise that.

“I think how we [schools] welcome refugees as their first port of call when they come to Australia is critical. Part of who we are as a Catholic family is to see Jesus in everybody that we meet, no matter what their background or where they come from.”