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Harmony Day 2014

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Harmony Day – 21 March 2014

Harmony Day is a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world. Harmony Day is an Australian Government programme and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

In December, South Australia became the first state to sign up to the National Anti-Racism Strategy’s Racism. It Stops With Me campaign. Individuals and organisations can sign up as supporters of the campaign which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism, wherever it happens.

Approximately 300 organisations and over 1,000 individuals have signed up to the campaign so far. In South Australia, supporters include:

  • All State Government agencies
  • Business Port Augusta
  • City of Marion
  • City of Port Adelaide Enfield
  • Elders Limited
  • Ice Hockey Australia
  • Legal Services Commission of SA
  • Lutheran Community Care
  • Migrant Resource Centre of SA
  • Morella Community Centre
  • Persian Cultural Association of South Australia Inc
  • Port Augusta City Council
  • Reconciliation South Australia
  • Rural City of Murray Bridge
  • Shelter SA
  • South Australian Guardian for Children and Young People
  • Welcome to Australia

Examples of some the great initiatives from SA supporters include:

To coincide with Harmony Day, City of Port Adelaide Enfield has distributed 55,000 bumper stickers with the “Racism. It Stops With Me” slogan to all households in the region with a message encouraging people to show their support by placing the sticker on the car, bike, letterbox, schoolbag etc. They are also running a competition for people to send in photos of where they place their sticker. The Council is also holding a number of events for Harmony Day, including free origami and calligraphy sessions at the Greenacres and Semaphore Libraries on 20 March, and a film festival and tea bar at Kilburn Community Centre. Find out more at: www.portenf.sa.gov.au.

In line with their commitment to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign, the Migrant Resource Centre of SA is involved in a number of Harmony Day-related events. These include the Middle Eastern New Year festival Nowruz on 22 March, the Harmony Day Colourfest Film Festival in Bordertown on 20 March, and Songs of Journey at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on 29 March. Visit their website at: www.mrcsa.com.au.

Recently signing up, Shelter SA’s vision is for every citizen to have a safe, secure, affordable and appropriate place to call home. Shelter SA, the peak body for housing in South Australia, is a non-profit organisation working to improve housing outcomes, including reducing racism and discrimination in the housing market. Shelter SA’s submission to the National Anti-Racism Strategy highlighted housing issues experienced by Aboriginal people and people from other cultural and language groups. Shelter SA is seeking to engage landlords and real estate agents in the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign as part of its commitment. Visit their website at: sheltersa.asn.au.

This Harmony Day, the Equal Opportunity Commission encourages everyone to get involved whether that is by attending an event, signing up to the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign, or just by appreciating the diversity of your local community.

Anne Gale
Commissioner for Equal Opportunity

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