Harmony Day – everybody belongs
Harmony Day is celebrated throughout Australia tomorrow (March 21) and everyone is invited to celebrate our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity.
Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said this year there are a record 6,500 community events celebrating Harmony Day, an increase of more than 40 per cent on last year.
“Harmony Day is about encouraging people to participate in their community, to respect different cultures and religions, and to foster a sense of belonging for everyone,” he said.
“The Australian Government, in partnership with SBS, has made a one off investment of $180,000 to deliver a programme which uses sport to foster harmony and respect.”
“The Harmony Games programme was developed with the Football Federation of Australia and will provide schools with a range of football themed resources that promote cultural harmony and respect both on and off the soccer field.”
Primary school students across the country will take ideas about diversity and cultural identity from the football field to the classroom and out into the wider community.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said 21 March is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
“A total of 7.2 million people have migrated to Australia since 1945 and today around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas,” she said.
“This incredible cultural diversity is worthy of a national day which we celebrate as Harmony Day through sport, dance, art, film, music, storytelling, cooking and sharing cultural meals.
“By participating in these activities, we can learn and understand how all Australians from diverse backgrounds equally belong to this nation and make it a better place,” she said.
For more information, visit the Harmony Day website at www.harmony.gov.au.