Hundreds of thousands of Australians are expected to use Harmony Day on March 21 as an opportunity to show support for the diversity and strength of their communities, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson said today.
“Harmony Day celebrates the cohesive nature of Australia and promotes the benefits of cultural diversity, as reflected in the 2009 theme of Everyone Belongs,” Mr Ferguson said.
So far, more than 2100 community groups, businesses, schools, government agencies and councils throughout Australia have registered events.
Harmony Day is part of the Diverse Australia Program, which helps local communities address cultural, racial and religious intolerance and works with different levels of government and community organisations to empower grassroots action.
The Diverse Australia Program provides annual funding of amounts of $5000 for small community grants and up to $50 000 for larger community relations programs and includes funding to respond to emerging issues.
Harmony Day 2009 is supported by iconic Australian organisations such as the Australian Football League, Cricket Australia, Girl Guides Australia and Scouts Australia. Valuable corporate support is being provided by Unisys, Universal McCann, HMA Blaze and Spots and Space.
The Australian Tax Office, the Australian Federal Police, Centrelink, Australia Post, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and IP Australia are among the many government agencies taking part in Harmony Day celebrations.
This year, Harmony Day will also be supported by the Scanlon Foundation’s new initiative, Taste of Harmony (March 16-22), which encourages all Australian workplaces to celebrate cultural diversity through food.
Visit www.harmony.gov.au or call 1800 331 100 for information, event details and to order free promotional material and www.tasteofharmony.org.au for more information on the Taste of Harmony campaign.