Harmony Day, March 21

Australia’s cultural diversity takes centre stage across the nation today (March 21) as Australians join together to celebrate Harmony Day, the same day that the international community observes the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

001 past Harmony Day activity-barnier-public-school
001 past Harmony Day activity-barnier-public-school

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said the annual celebration was a chance for all Australians to embrace the many things that make our country unique.

‘The values of inclusiveness, respect and belonging are fundamental to the development of Australia’s successful multicultural framework,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘These values are at the core of what Harmony Day is about.
‘Harmony Day is a fantastic time to reflect on and celebrate the rich patchwork of cultures which make Australia such a fantastic place to live.’

The theme underpinning this year’s celebration is Many Stories – One Australia, emphasising that each of Australia’s 22 million citizens has a unique story to tell.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy said the theme encourages Australians to reflect on their Australian journey and share it with others.

‘The stories which make up the broader Australian narrative are varied and unique, and this year’s theme aims to bring to light the amazing diversity amongst Australia’s citizens,’ Senator Lundy said.

‘Australians have been encouraged to reflect on their journey and share it with others – in workplaces, on social network sites, at schools or within their communities.’

Preparations are being finalised for thousands of events across the country, including the lighting up tonight of Federation Square in Melbourne and some of Canberra’s iconic landmarks, including Parliament House, in the Harmony colour – orange.

Since Harmony Day began in 1999, almost 50 000 events have been staged across Australia with community groups, schools, churches, local governments and the business community once again come together to celebrate the cultures that make Australia a great place to live.

‘Harmony Day is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the unique sense of belonging which has grown from Australia’s multicultural foundation,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘Together we can showcase the spirit of the cultural diversity which has made Australia what it is today.’

For more information on Harmony Day events, go to the Harmony Day website www.harmony.gov.au. [Photos used here from gallery of www.harmony.gov.au].

Celebrate Strathfield’s diversity for Harmony Day

Strathfield Council will celebrate Harmony Day and embrace the area’s cultural diversity with a fun family day out on Saturday 16 March at Airey Park, Homebush.

Harmony Day is marked each year on March 21 and is managed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Strathfield Festival, 2011 /TFA Photo
Strathfield Festival, 2011 /TFA Photo

The message of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs – it is a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity and to spread a message of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia Home.

The free Harmony Day activities from 10am – 3pm will include a jumping castle, animal farm, plaster painting, Korean Kite making workshop and flight trial, an AFL clinic, Taekwondo demonstrations as well as a free barbecue from 12noon to 2pm with a range of foods to try.

The activities will also mark International Women’s Day (8 March) with a Zumba class at 12noon and community service information for women’s support groups.

The Harmony Day event will also welcome local community service organisation, Metro Migrant Resource Centre (Metro MRC) to their new premises at the Strathfield Community Centre (within Airey Park). Metro MRC will be available to support the needs of thediverse Strathfield and Inner West community from this site.

The event will be opened by the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello at 11am.

Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Gulian Vaccari noted the importance of days like this to Strathfield.

“Harmony Day is great time to look at the many various cultures and people that call Strathfield and its suburbs home and acknowledge the contribution those cultures make. This is a fantastic family fun day which shows off the community pride and harmony here in Strathfield, “Cr Vaccari said.