21 Mar 2023

Celebrating Harmony Week

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Harmony Day is celebrated on 21 March 2023. Harmony Week is a special week that takes place in Australia every year and is a time to embrace diversity and promote inclusivity in our communities. This week is a chance for all of us to come together, celebrate our differences, and build stronger, more inclusive communities.

During Harmony Week, we celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and religions that make up our society. It is a time to learn about and appreciate the many different ways of life that exist in our communities. Harmony Week encourages us to reach out to one another, to connect, and to foster a sense of belonging for everyone.

In this blog, we’ll explore what Harmony Week means for our speakers and share stories of people who are working hard to promote harmony and inclusivity in their communities. So let’s dive in and celebrate the diversity that makes our world such a beautiful and unique place.

Browse All Diversity & Inclusion Speakers Here


The History and Significance of Harmony Day

Harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 March in Australia. It is a government-declared observance day that began in 1999, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


What Harmony Day Means to our Speakers


Noor Azizah

Why is Harmony week important for me and others?

Harmony Week is an important time of the year for all Australian’s. It is a time where we come together and celebrate each other’s differences. It is especially a special time for me during the year because I get to share and embrace my own culture. As a Rohingya woman, I am Indigenous to my homeland which is the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Despite facing structural, direct and cultural violence, meaning my citizenship and rights to my homeland has been stripped from my family and I, we have managed to preserve our culture through language, food, traditional customs, clothing and traditional celebrations. This preservation of culture is common among many Indigenous communities all over the world. I am proud to call myself a Rohingya woman. Harmony Week allows space for sharing and also learning from other communities. We get to learn the importance of empathy, diversity, respect, inclusion and community. It is a time where we celebrate and unite together as one. Every single person is included and this is the beauty of Harmony Week.

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Captain Mona Shindy

Why is Harmony week important for me and others?

Harmony week is important because it is an opportunity to pause, reflect on our behaviours and biases, include others in our circles and seek to address issues that divide us. It must be more than an excuse to just celebrate the presence of diversity in our great nation. It is a time for frank respectful conversations about uncomfortable topics such as racism, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. It is an excellent time to drive actions that address inequity and foster a sense of belonging for all. Respect for others and an understanding of different perspectives and contributions, makes for a more capable and prosperous community.

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Ashara Wills

Why is Harmony week important for me and others?

In a world where intolerance and hatred seems to rise, Harmony Week is a timely important reminder that our differences should never divide us, but rather enrich us.This annual event, observed in many countries around the world, is a celebration of diversity, inclusivity and unity. An opportunity to promote respect, understanding and acceptance.

The theme of Harmony Week is “Everyone Belongs”, which emphasises that every person has the right to feel valued and included, regardless of their cultural or ethnic background, religion, gender identity, sexuality, age, ability or any other characteristic that defines them. This theme also reflects the fact that everyone has something to contribute to society. Our differences can be a source of strength and creativity, rather than a source of conflict.

As a multicultural, queen woman, I believe that Harmony Week is a powerful occasion to promote harmony and togetherness, not only in our workplaces, schools and families. By celebrating diversity and embracing inclusivity we can foster a culture of respect, empathy and kindness. Together we can create a world where everyone feels safe, supported and appreciated.

Harmony Week also highlights the importances of education, dialogue and awareness-raising in promoting harmony and preventing discrimination. Through events such as cultural festivals, art exhibitions, workshops, forums, etc, we can learn about other cultures, histories and perspectives. We can engage in meaningful conversations with people who are different from us. This can help break down stereotypes, reduce prejudice, build relationships and create understanding that organically leads to collaboration. With collaboration we know that leads to stronger relationships that help build the economy.

In conclusion, Harmony Week is a call to action for all of us to embrace diversity and promote unity. As the famous quote by Dr Maya Angelou says: “We all should know that diversity makes for rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of tapestry are equal in value no matter what colour”. Let’s celebrate our differences, let’s respect our common humanity and let’s work together to create a harmonious world where everyone belongs.

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Div Pillay

Why is Harmony week important for me and others?

Harmony Week has always worried me, as a migrant who has been in Australia for 20 years as it over amplifies the celebration, of multiculturalism without recognising the real history behind the day. The 21st of March is very significant for me, as I was born in South Africa, under apartheid laws and the on the 21st of March 1960, white police officers in a black township in South Africa opened fire on a group of people peacefully protesting oppressive pass laws, killing 69. The United Nations later declared the 21st of March, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day, stating that no one should experience harm or loss of life based on the colour of their skin. I think in Australia, we need to move past just acknowledging different foods, festivals, counting of cultures and languages spoken to truly valuing the cultural strengths of people who are 1st and 2nd generation migrants [5.1.5% of our population]. They bring different thinking, approaches, ways to problem solve and analyse key issues, different ways of building communities, bilateral connections and more. We find that this valuing of cultural strength is not there yet. We also find that people shy away from recognising that people of different races and ethnicities have experienced negative behaviours and exclusion both in society and in business. 7 out of 10 children experience racism in school and 1 in 3 people experience racism at work. This International Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day, I hope we have it in our hearts to discuss both, the cultural strength and how we can reduce and eliminate racism.

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Dinesh Palipana

Why is Harmony week important for me and others?

We moved to Australia from a country that was ravaged by an ethnic war for over three decades. I have seen the violence, poverty, and suffering that can come out of disharmony. Australia took me in, then gave me everything to become who I am today. That’s why Harmony Week is important to me. It reminds me of this journey. More importantly, it reminds me that a happy, prosperous society is built on celebrating each other, knowing that our diversity strengthens us more than they divide us.

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Browse our full list of Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Here

Discover more Diversity and Inclusion Speakers for Live & Virtual Events, Presentations and Keynote Speeches this Harmony Day, or get in touch today and our team can help book one of the above-listed speakers or help source alternatives to best match your upcoming event and budget.

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