20 Mar

Harmony Week 2024

What is Harmony Week? 

Harmony Week is an annual celebration of multiculturalism in Australia. It recognises diversity and inclusion within communities. The foundations of Harmony Week are built upon respect, belonging and inclusivity of all – no matter their cultural or linguistic background. 

The theme for this year’s Harmony Week events is ‘Everyone Belongs’ and is from 18 March to 24 March. The week is centred around the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which occurs 21 March every year.  

Significance of Harmony Week 

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. More than half of the population are first generation migrants or come from a migrant background. Since 1999, the Australian Government has formally celebrated this day. 

Cultural facts 

Currently, in Australia: 

  • we identify with more than 300 ancestral backgrounds 
  • 85 per cent of Australian’s believe that multiculturalism has been good for the country 
  • there are more than 70 Indigenous languages that are spoken 
  • 49% of us were born overseas or have at least one parent who was 
  • following English, the most common languages that are spoken are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi. 

Learn about Harmony Week in SEQ

What can you do to celebrate Harmony Week? 

There are plenty of ways that you can celebrate Harmony Week in your community, place of work or classroom. You might choose to host your own celebration or attend one.  

For instance, you could host or attend a morning tea. This type of event can generate opportunities for discussion around the cultural differences and similarities that make your community better. Most Harmony Week morning teas encourage attendees to bring a different cultural dish. 

If you want to host an event, you may consider inviting a guest speaker to share their story and encourage other attendees to share their own.  

Additionally, you could look for Harmony Week events in your local community to attend. Plenty of councils and local organisations celebrate Harmony Week with events that bring communities together through sport, food, entertainment and music 

During Harmony Week, you might also choose to wear the colour orange. Orange is a colour that signifies social communication and meaningful conversation. 

Other ways that you can celebrate multiculturalism on Harmony Week and throughout the year include: 

  • learning a different language. This is a great self-development opportunity that can expand your appreciation of other cultures while building on your communication skills 
  • try different foods from other cultures 
  • learn about a new culture 
  • promote and model inclusivity 
  • if you have a story – share it 
  • participate in other culturally significant days throughout the year. 

Anglicare Southern Queensland’s commitment to multiculturalism  

We are committed to ensuring the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging of all staff, volunteers, clients and other stakeholders associated with our organisation. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategy works to achieve our organisational mission, which is, to create a more loving, just and inclusive society.  

Our organisation has engaged with multicultural communities to deliver cultural competency training and valuable resources to communicate with staff and clients. Some of the key activities we’ve recently undertaken, as part of our multicultural program, includes the development and delivery of: 

  1. Inclusive Leadership training to seven CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) providers across Brisbane and Toowoomba; 
  2. a Racism and Refusal of Care webinar to both internal and external participants; and 
  3. an Inclusive Engagement Toolkit – a resource for CHSP and SSD (Sector Support and Development) providers to support the inclusion and engagement of vulnerable or marginalised groups in our community. 

In addition to our DEIB Strategy and Multicultural Program, we’ve remained strong in our commitment to Reconciliation with celebrations, sponsorships and acknowledgement of culturally significant days and events for First Nations communities. 

You can find out more about our commitment to multiculturalism and reconciliation in our 2022-2023 Annual Report and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging page on our website. 

More information 

For more information about how Anglicare Southern Queensland promotes Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, visit our DEIB webpage. This page includes information on how we’re improving, maintaining and implementing initiatives to support First Nations staff and clients, as well as multiculturalism, inclusive engagement and the promotion of LGBTQIA+ within our organisation.