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Harmony Day

Harmony Day occurs on 21 March each year and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Harmony Day, which was established in 1999, is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity of our organisation and to commit ourselves to the values of mutual respect, fairness and acceptance, and say 'no' to racism.

The continuing message for Harmony Day is 'Everyone Belongs'. It is a time to reflect and recognise the traditional owners of this land. It is also about community participation, inclusiveness, respect - celebrating the different cultures that make Australia a great place to live.

The event is symbolised by the Orange Awareness Ribbon, worn or displayed by those associating with the day's ideals and morals.

The 2012 Harmony Day theme is 'Sport - play, engage, inspire'. Encouraging everyone, regardless of background, to participate in sporting activities, increase understanding and to be inspired, or inspire others.

Brisbane Event

This year, the Diversity team hosted a Harmony Day event for staff in Brisbane with a celebration of the "Tastes and Sounds of South Africa".

Craig Allen, Assistant Director-General, Human Resources gave an opening address on Harmony Day and the 2012 theme of "Sport - play, engage, inspire" which recognises the important role and positive influence that sport has in our multicultural nation.

Drummers: Tunde Solanke and Joseph Matovu
Drummers: Tunde Solanke and Joseph Matovu

Joseph Matovu known as the 'African Drummer' led the entertainment for the event. Joseph grew up with drumming, singing, storytelling and dancing being a big part of his life. Joseph now resides in Brisbane teaching African drumming, dance and culture.

His energy was infectious and members of staff were soon drumming, dancing and singing along to "Shosholoza", the South African song that is sung at every sporting event and "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the official song for the 2010 FIFA (Federation International of Football Association) World Cup by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira.

Tunde Solanke and Joseph Matovu with guest speaker, Seipati Ditsoane
Tunde Solanke and Joseph Matovu with guest speaker, Seipati Ditsoane

The guest speaker was Mrs Seipati Ditsoane, Master of Business in Human Resource Management scholarship student at Queensland University of Technology who is currently gaining work experience in the Diversity unit.

Passionate about Africa, particularly South Africa, Mrs Ditsoane shared her own personal account of growing up in Soweto and presented a journey into Africa - sharing her stories on the country, its education, people, food and triumphs in various sporting codes.

For more information on Harmony Day, visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Harmony Day - Everyone Belongs site.

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This page was last reviewed on 24 Apr 2012

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