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Week of Solidarity

March 21, 2017

Starting on the 21 March, the United Nations invites people to acknowledge the “Week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination.”

It is a time for individuals and communities to fight racism and promote tolerance.

We teach young people the value of solidarity and the wrongs of racism in many ways, particularly in an era where Australia is enriched with many cultures. At the core of our teaching is that God created everyone equally regardless of skin colour and everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

You don't fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity. Bobby Seale

Recently at a school assembly the children where I work, presented a dreamtime story. Dreamtime stories establish the values, symbols, and laws of Aboriginal culture and society. This one was called “How the birds got their colours.” It’s a good news story about solidarity, the rewards of good deeds and the beauty of diversity.


How the Birds Got Their Colours

Back in Dreamtime all the bird tribes were the same colour, and that was black. One day a peaceful Dove caught his foot on a sharp bit of a tree branch and called out for help. The birds came to help the Dove who was in great pain. They gathered and provided shelter for him with their wings. Some brought water and drink except for Crow who was angered by the attention the other birds were giving the little Dove.

Galah had an idea to bite the Dove’s swollen foot with her beak. All the colours in nature flowed out of the Dove’s foot and splashed all over every bird gathered around. Some got only a little colour, some got one or two colours, but the Rainbow Lorikeet was splashed with so much colour he looked like the rainbow itself.

The Dove was almost drained of colour till he was a light mottled grey-brown. And so it was that all the bird tribes got their beautiful colours, except for the selfish bad tempered Crow who remains in his original black to this day.


Let’s reward our God, in our diversity, to live together in solidarity in this beautiful colourful world that was created.

Sr Julianne Murphy rsj

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