Paper cranes unite St Andrew’s community



This Harmony Day we recognise the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Pastoral Care team who have engaged with every staff member to let them know that Every Person Matters.

Harmony Day is about Belonging, Inclusion and Respect for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.

St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Chaplain Helen Hill believes the hospital embraces these values every day.

“At the annual hospital blessing, each department was given origami paper and instructions on how to make a paper crane and we’ve collected and displayed them in the hospital’s main corridor,” Helen said.

“With everyone’s contribution symbolised by a paper crane, we are saying – everyone is included, respected and belongs.

“We are tying all of these things together – literally, as a blessing for our colleagues, patients and hospital community.

“I’ve watched staff walk past and point out which crane is theirs to a colleague and marvel at what the collective display looks like,” she said.

1000 Origami cranes (orizuru) and tied on strings are known as a senbazuru. The concept was popularised through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a two-year old Japanese girl who suffered radiation poisoning at the age of 2 when the atomic bomb was dropped at Hiroshima during World War II. She developed leukemia at age 12. Inspired by the senbazuru legend, she began folding cranes. She completed 644 before she died but her family and classmates completed the senbazuru in her honor.

The cranes are typically made from many different colors and patterns of paper, so they are a bright and cheerful decoration.

“The cranes are a symbol of peace, and are often seen at war memorials, which is appropriate for us as Australia’s largest War Memorial Hospital,” Helen said.

“At St Andrew’s, every crane represents the valuable contribution of each person; their hopes, dreams and for some, their prayers,” she said.