Since 1999, Harmony Day has been held every year in Australia on 21 March to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The central message of Harmony Day is that ‘everyone belongs’.
It’s not too late to join in Australia’s largest multicultural celebration on Harmony Day, 21 March 2016. It’s a day to celebrate the rich cultural diversity in our local community and to share the message #everyonebelongs.
Did you know that around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was? Apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi. And according to ABS 2011 Census data, more than 60 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.
Multiculturalism is in Australia’s national interest and speaks to fairness and inclusion – it enhances respect and support for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. Multicultural Australia is an integral part of our nation’s history and character.
Harmony Day is a community celebration with events staged in childcare centres, schools, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies across Australia. Morning teas, fairs, concerts, school assemblies, sporting events and national costume days are among the different events that have been staged to showcase cultures, traditions and backgrounds on Harmony Day.
To get involved in Harmony Day 2016 visit the website www.harmony.gov.au to register your event or find an event happening in the community. While the Australian Government does not fund Harmony Day events, the Department of Social Services does provides free promotional products when you register your event on the website.
If you’re not sure how to get involved the website has a list of ideas and resources for celebrating Harmony Day. There’s some great ideas already registered including markets, origami, dance troupes, netball and soccer comps, food festivals, pool parties, and film nights. Click Here to see a list of state and territory events promoting harmony and social cohesion.
Recipes for Harmony brings the world to classrooms by introducing students to diverse Australians, their culture and traditional dishes in a fun and interactive way. This online resource for schools features recipes, cultural profiles and personal stories from every-day and high profile Australians such as AFL player Bachar Houli and Masterchef contestant Alice Zaslavsky.