National Harmony Day

March 20, 2007 at 11:33 pm | Posted in All, Australia | 1 Comment


Today is National Harmony Day in Australia.

Harmony Day is an initiative of the Commonwealth Government to encourage people to say no to racism, reaffirm our shared values as a community and celebrate Australia’s advancements as a multicultural society.

The main objectives of Harmony Day are to promote:

  • inclusiveness – to ensure that Australians understand that multiculturalism is relevant to all Australians
  • productivity diversity – to ensure that Australians act to maximise the social, economic and cultural dividends of our diversity and to promote the benefits
  • community harmony – to ensure that Australians acknowledge Australia’s success as a harmonious and culturally diverse nation and work to bolster community harmony.

The theme for Harmony Day is You Me AUStralia.

Harmony Day was originally developed in Western Australia in 1998 to promote community harmony and address racism in Western Australia.

Due to the success of Harmony Day in Western Australia, the Commonwealth Government adopted the concept and since 1999 it has been celebrated nationally on 21 March each year. This date coincides with the UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an important community awareness-raising day that focuses on the need to eliminate racism in all its forms.

Harmony Day, on the other hand, is the ‘celebration’ of cultural diversity, with events on this day often taking the form of activities related to song, dance and food. These types of activities can undermine the anti-racism message.

Harmony Day events are organised in every State and Territory by the Commonwealth Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

Australia‘s first National Harmony Day was held on 21 March 1999 to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. National Harmony Day promotes the social, cultural and economic benefits provided by Australia’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity. It is a simple and powerful way of expressing that there is no place in our community for racial intolerance or disharmony. It also encourages a sense of citizenship and pride in our nation and local community.

The Living in Harmony Initiative is designed to highlight cultural issues for all Australian citizens, and give all Australian’s collective goals to reduce racism within Australia, such as:

· Take a stand against racism, prejudice and intolerance;

· Help build a peaceful and productive future for our children by setting an example of how to live in harmony, making the most of racial, cultural, social and religious diversity;

· Put into practice the best of traditional Australian values – justice, equality, fairness and friendship.

· Celebrate Australia’s many successes as a diverse and harmonious multicultural society;

· Re-commit to common values of respect and goodwill towards our fellow Australian’s of all backgrounds;

· Say ‘NO’ to racism.

Australia is one of the world’s most multicultural nations and is made up of many indigenous, immigrant and refugee cultures. For the past 200 years immigrants have helped change and shape Australia’s national identity by sharing their rich cultural experiences, histories and traditions.

Australia recognises that Aboriginal peoples are the First Australians and that the population is drawn from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. People of more than 200 different nationalities Australia, speak over 200 languages (including 45 Indigenous languages) and practise over 100 religious faiths. One in every two Australians has a strong connection with another country and culture.

People from diverse backgrounds have made and continue to make significant contributions both to the economic development of Australia and to shaping the political, social, religious, sporting and cultural life of the nation.

Multiculturalism has helped Australia to develop a dynamic, colourful and vibrant society. Cultural diversity is one of our most valuable assets, enriching the nation’s social fabric and bringing with it a variety of cultural and economic benefits.

1 Comment »

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  1. Hey Alma! I was wondering why you hadn’t been posting lately! Work, eh? Yup, I can relate to that.

    Thanks for the mention and the votes! 😀 Much appreciated! Eh, I don’t expect to win, but it’s flattering nonethetheless – the nominations and the support.

    I’d love to go to Australia (and visit my online Aussie Pinoy pals, if I ever find the time for a vacation, sigh… got a few Aussie online pals now! Whoohoo!)

    Specifically, it’s because of the Aussie food I’ve been dreaming about. I’d like to load up on Tim Tams (my Aussie relatives came over once to Canada and gave us Tim Tams and I was addicted to them)… Apparently, I can get Tim Tams here in Canada, but they’re sold under the brand name of “Arnott’s Biscuits”. I haven’t found them yet. (It’s like a Holy Grail Quest, haha. Me and my food addictions. LOL.)

    I imagine, I’d also like to visit Kylie Kwong’s restaurant.

    L8tr days. 😀

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