Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. It is held every year on 21 March to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
It is a day for all Australians to embrace cultural diversity and to share what we have in common.
The central message for Harmony Day is that ‘everyone belongs’, reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians.
DID YOU KNOW:
- around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
- 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia
- apart from English the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi
- more than 60 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia
- 92 per cent of Australians feel a great sense of belonging to our country
There are many events that happen around Australia to celebrate Harmony Day and there are many initiatives that take place during the year with the aim of involving the community in instilling characteristics of harmony, compassion and appreciation among all people.
Below is an example of one such initiative in the rural town of Leeton in the Riverina region of New South Wales Australia.
Multicultural Links Crucial For Residents
By Talia Pattison
17 March 2016
COMING to Leeton from Afghanistan is more than just a tiny change.
One of those to do just that is Humaira, who moved to Leeton to be with her husband just over a year ago.
With Harmony Day celebrations planned for this weekend, Humaira said she had never felt more welcome or happy to be part of the Leeton community.
She admitted the first two weeks spent in the town were a different experience, but she was soon put in touch with the Leeton Conversation Group.
This organisation has been set up for women that have come to Leeton from places such as Afghanistan, Iran and India to make connections with each other.
Humaira said without the group she would be lost.
“When I first moved here I was quite bored and homesick, but after going to the group I was able to make friends,” she said.
“I have learned so much (from the group members).
“They have taught me many things, helped me and answered all of my questions.
“Now, I love it here. I definitely want to stay.”
Humaira came to Leeton after her husband proposed to her.
He had come to town as a refugee from Afghanistan and works at JBS Riverina.
Both are from the Ghazni province in the country.
Humaira is a trained teacher and now volunteers at Parkview Public School.