Harmony Day 21 March

Living in Harmony

Living in Harmony is a Commonwealth Government program that aims to build on Australia’s successful record of community harmony by emphasising our traditional values of justice, equality, fairness and friendship – and by making it clear that there is no place in Australia for racism and intolerance.

The annual Harmony Day is part of Living in Harmony and provides the opportunity for all Australians to reflect on and celebrate our cultural diversity. Harmony Day occurs on 21 March and coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Each State and Territory Government is invited to hold multicultural events that coincide with or culminate around Harmony Day. Community organisations across Australia are also invited to participate and Harmony Day messages are broadcast on radio stations across the country in the lead up to Harmony Day.

How can I Celebrate Harmony Day?

If you would like to take part in Harmony Day you can contact your local council, community centre, school or sporting club to find out what they are organising. Or get together a group of friends and organise something yourself. For example you could:

  • organise a Harmony Day map wrap, and get your friends to form themselves into the shape of Australia and then wrap up everyone with a an orange ribbon;
  • wrap orange ribbons around public buildings, classrooms or other areas in your town or suburb as a symbolic way of demonstrating your commitment to multiculturalism;
  • organise a harmony picnic or BBQ through the local police youth club or a fun run through your sports clubs;
  • stage Harmony Day at the zoo, botanic gardens or beach. Local personalities could be asked to participate; local businesses could donate refreshments and Harmony Day ribbons and stickers could be handed out;
  • plant a harmony tree in a public park or garden with a plaque to celebrate your community’s diversity;
  • encourage your local community and religious leaders to spread the Harmony Day message at appropriate gatherings and activities;
  • organise a harmony essay or painting competition for school children;
  • ask school children to design a harmony postcard and use them to make a Harmony mural at your local shopping centre;
  • invite a guest speaker (for example, your local community or religious leader) to talk about Australia’s cultural diversity and community harmony at the next meeting of your club or group;
  • find out about the multicultural make-up of your workforce and celebrate with diversity in your workplace with a multicultural morning tea or lunch;
  • ask the local child care centres to promote Harmony Day among their pre-schoolers;
  • get your community group or neighbours together for a harmony lunch or dinner; and
  • provide a link from your website to the Living in Harmony website.

And Don’t Forget . . .

  • publicise your Harmony Day event in your newsletter or on your website;
  • contact your local paper, radio and television stations to promote local activities;
  • tell your friends, family and workmates about Harmony Day; and
  • wear a Harmony Day ribbon or sticker, provided to your organisation by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and show your commitment to Australia’s community harmony.

Further Information:
Contact your local council or community centre; keep an eye on your local press and look up the Harmony Day Diary on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website.

Source: © 2001 Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Australia. February 2001

Theme: Cultural diversity and multiculturalism