Reflecting on Harmony Day
Last week we joined together to celebrate Harmony Day. It is a time to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity and embrace shared values and cultural traditions. The key message of Harmony Day is “everyone belongs”.
Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Almost a quarter of Australians were born overseas and it is fantastic to see that our multicultural population is continuing to grow. Four million Australians speak a language other than English.
As a nation we are privileged to experience a rich diversity of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. Our diversity is our strength.
The vision of Harmony Day, as a day where we respect and embrace all of the cultures that make up our nation, is wonderful. However, Australia needs to work towards making every day a Harmony Day. Everyone, no matter what their culture or religious background has the right to feel safe, accepted and respected in our country.
It is my hope that Harmony Day will stir a permanent sense of unity, bringing acceptance and respect of all cultures.