Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating Harmony for all Australians

The diversity and the inclusiveness of Australia will be celebrated today, as part of Harmony Day.

Today is a time to celebrate our diversity and promote respect for Australian values of fairness and tolerance for culture, race and religion.

Events around the country will promote and celebrate the contribution so many different cultures make to Australia’s national identity.

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs promotes inclusiveness and multiculturalism through a number of programs, including:

  • Breaking Cycles by Building Neighbourhood Hubs targets families in Victoria with young children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and builds links to key service providers including schools, kindergartens and maternal and child health groups;
  • Sunshine Learning Together is a Victorian English language learning program for parents and their preschool aged children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and
  • Frankston Community Kitchens has assisted more than 500 people over the last four years to promote healthy eating and social interaction, including among people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds.

As well, we are taking practical steps towards re-setting Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations and recognising the positive role of Indigenous culture and identity.

The National Apology to Indigenous Australians, in particular the Stolen Generations, was a first step in building a bridge of respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and we will keep moving forward.

The Australian Government also embraces NAIDOC, a week of celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage, through supporting community events.

Harmony Day is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to be proud of our diverse and vibrant cultural heritage.