Australians from all walks of life are today celebrating Harmony Day and the rich cultural diversity that makes Australia a great place to live.
Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Craig Laundy acknowledged the thousands of celebrations being held in schools, workplaces, large and small businesses, community organisations and governments across the country this Harmony Day.
“Australia is one of the most successful and harmonious multicultural societies in the world because we consistently highlight the importance of our shared values and cultural traditions with celebrations like Harmony Day,” Mr Laundy said.
“It is more important than ever that we come together to celebrate our cultural diversity, and recognise the benefits that diversity brings to us as individuals, as communities and as a country.
Mr Laundy said Australia’s cultural diversity has increased our connection to the world and given us many economic and social benefits.
“We have become more open to the world as our business horizons have broadened. Our diversity of cultures and our multilingual communities help us to innovate and give Australia a unique competitive advantage in the global economy,” Mr Laundy said.
“Today we celebrate Harmony Day and we reflect on the cultural and economic successes that diversity has delivered for us,” Mr Laundy said.
Mr Laundy said investment in activities like Harmony Day and our broader settlement programme contribute to our nation’s prosperity and cohesion through ensuring that every individual, especially those of culturally diverse backgrounds, can participate fully in Australian society.
“I have been fortunate this weekend to participate in a number of great local events in Sydney in celebration of Harmony Day.
“At the Strathfield Community Day on Saturday and the Children’s Festival on Sunday I saw first hand how much the fact that we can come together, side-by-side to celebrate our cultures and diverse communities means to people.
“This is made possible because we are one of the most tolerant, welcoming and cohesive countries in the world,” Mr Laundy said.
“But it’s also made possible by the efforts of thousands of individuals and organisations working together. I want to thank all of the community groups, businesses, schools, universities, clubs, local councils and government departments who have put on Harmony Day events again this year to help us celebrate our cultural diversity,” Mr Laundy said.
Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. For more information, visit www.harmony.gov.au.