Students sweep Harmony Awards

Students from Catholic schools in Sydney’s south drew inspiration from the theme ‘Stop, think and consider others’ to win three of four categories in the 2016 Harmony Day poster and song writing competitions.

Mia Francis, in Year 4 at St Jerome’s Catholic Primary Punchbowl was joint winner of the NSW competition’s junior song writing award, while St Patrick’s College Sutherland Year 10 student Monique Gough won the senior song writing award. Holy Family Catholic Primary Menai student Shania Coloma won the junior poster section, after being a regional finalist the previous year.

All were presented with certificates at a Harmony Day state awards ceremony at Sydney’s Parliament House on June 2. The competitions are held each year by Moving Forward Together, a social initiative to promote harmony in the community regardless of cultural or religious differences, driven by community groups.

Music teacher at St Patrick’s College Sutherland Louise Kelly said judges looked at the quality of lyrics, narrative, and chord progression to determine awards for the original songs. Her daughter Mia was the competition’s junior winner. Both girls played their own instruments, including piano, on their tracks. Monique’s was titled ‘Can we harmonise?’, Mia’s ‘Now or never’.

“It’s a great way to express your feelings and thoughts,” Ms Kelly said. “It can be a bit like poetry but a song often touches people, and is a great way for kids to channel and thoughts or concerns about the world and the things that are important to them. It’s a really fun exercise to put this to music, and such a buzz when they’ve finished recording a song.”

Sydney Catholic Schools Creative and Performing Arts (CaSPA) will professionally record Monique’s song, originally done using the Garage Band app. “You don’t necessarily need to be a good singer to be a good songwriter, but Monique has the whole package with her clever musical knowledge and passion for words,” Ms Kelly said.


  • More details to come.

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