Canberrans celebrate cultural diversity on Harmony Day

Lachlan Roberts 21 March 2018

Harmony Day is one of the many ways the Canberra community says no to racial discrimination. Photo: Supplied by Harmony Day.

Canberra is turning orange for Harmony Day in celebration of the capital’s cultural diversity and to stand up against racism and intolerance today.

To coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Harmony Day is one of the many ways the Canberra community says no to racial discrimination, with the message that ‘everyone belongs’.

Canberra is an incredibly culturally diverse city, with the 2016 Census showing that one in four people living in the ACT were born overseas and about a third of Canberrans have both parents born overseas.

Canberra is also a multilingual city with more than one in five Canberrans speaking a language other than English at home.

Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Rachel Stephen-Smith is urging Canberrans to wear orange today – a colour that “symbolises social communication and meaningful conversation, freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect”.

“The ACT Government is committed to ensuring Canberra remains a socially cohesive and inclusive place to live and that means actively culturally and linguistically diverse Canberrans engaging in the city’s social and economic life,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Last year we established a new Multicultural Advisory Council to provide a platform for Canberra’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities to identify the issues that matter to them and have a direct conversation with the government on those issues.”

“I look forward to working with the Multicultural Advisory Council to plan for a Multicultural Summit later this year and I hope all Canberrans have a meaningful Harmony Day and continue to find new and innovative ways to show that ‘everyone belongs’.”

Do you think that Canberrans are proud of their city’s cultural diversity? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

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