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Embracing Perspectives: Listening and Learning on ANZAC Day at Penrhos College

25 April 2024

Yesterday, at Penrhos College, we observed our annual ANZAC Day Service, a meaningful event that went beyond remembrance to embrace the sharing of stories and perspectives across cultures. We were honoured to welcome the Mayor of the City of South Perth, Greg Milner, Geoff Baker MLA and Roger Reynolds from the RSL and special guests from Fountain College, established in 2001 by Turkish Australian families. Amidst the current conflicts that shape our world, we took a moment to listen and learn from the past, using these insights to envision a more unified future. 

Our service not only paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives but also highlighted the transformative power of storytelling in bridging divides. ANZAC Day holds a unique position as a symbol of former foes turned friends. As we shared tales of heroism, sacrifice and eventual friendship between former adversaries, we also celebrated the new bonds forming between Penrhos and Fountain College. These interactions, particularly the conversations between students and staff from both schools, demonstrated the ongoing relevance of historical reflections in building a compassionate and inclusive community.

By focusing on the diverse perspectives brought forth, especially through poignant contributions from our guests from Fountain College and Penrhos students, we gained a deeper appreciation of our shared histories and the lessons they carry. This exchange of views was not just about recounting past events but about understanding the varied human experiences that shape them.

When asked "What did today’s visit to Penrhos mean to you?" our visitors’ responses offered a glimpse into the impact of such interactions, showcasing the personal and communal growth that comes from shared experiences.

“I feel happy to hear that another school wanted to listen to me and receive recognition for my family's story.”
Esme Fountain College School Captain
“Being here today means a lot to me, because I think understanding each other and creating connections are crucial to helping communities come together.”
Ali Fountain College School Captain
“Today was an opportunity for all of us to learn from each other, our different views and different perspectives.”
Mr Ircan Sakarya Fountain College Pastoral Care Coordinator and Turkish language teacher

As Penrhos College continues to engage with communities both local and global, we are committed to making a positive impact that transcends academic success and learning from every voice and story. Our partnership with Fountain College is a testament to our dedication to building bridges. Through these connections, we aim to serve and learn from one another, fostering a spirit of cooperation that we hope will inspire our students and their families for generations to come.

This year's ANZAC Day served as a reminder that our collective future is shaped by the willingness to listen, the readiness to understand different perspectives and the resolve to move forward together. Through this lens, we look forward to fostering further collaborations that enrich our community, ensuring that the lessons gained from the past help inform our tomorrow.