Media Release by Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Festival celebrates our diversity and national identity

The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Zed Seselja, joined thousands of people at one of Australia’s largest multicultural festivals in Canberra today.

Assistant Minister Seselja said the National Multicultural Festival has become a recognised celebration of the nation’s cultural diversity, attracting more than a quarter of a million people over a weekend.

“Our multicultural character is central to Australia’s story,” Assistant Minister Zed Seselja said.

“More than 7.5 million people have come from all corners of the earth to make their home here, including my own parents, both of whom came from Croatia.

“Today we are one of the most diverse, prosperous and harmonious nations with about 45 per cent of us either born overseas or with at least one parent who was.

“It is this great variety of backgrounds and cultures that have forged our unique Australian identity.

“Our cultural diversity is a source of great social and economic strength and makes Australia a great place to live.”

Assistant Minister Seselja also took the opportunity to remind Australians everywhere to take part in Harmony Day events around 21 March.

“Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone,” he said.

“The Harmony Day message is ‘everyone belongs’ – a message that can be lived by each of us, every day.”

For more information about Harmony Day or to register a Harmony Day event, please visit

For more information on the Australian Government’s work in multicultural affairs and settlement services, go to