Celebrating Harmony Day

UNSW to host first official 'A Taste of Harmony' lunch for staff

02 MAR 2017  |  KYLIE OWENS

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3% of the Australian population identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander1, nearly one quarter of us are born overseas2 and 43% of us have at least one overseas-born parent2.

Harmony Day, held annually on 21 March, is therefore an important opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate our cultural diversity. The key message of Harmony Day is 'everyone belongs'. Coinciding with the United National International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Day aims to engage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity and foster a sense of belonging for everyone.

Also at this time of year is the Scanlon Foundation's 'A Taste of Harmony'
initiative. Running 20 - 31 March, Australian workplaces are asked to encourage employees to share food and stories from different cultural backgrounds across the globe. There's no fee or fundraising involved. This year UNSW staff are warmly invited to celebrate at our first official 'A Taste of Harmony' lunch on Tuesday 21 March. Register to secure your ticket, as spaces are limited. Bring an open mind, an open heart and a dish that represents your cultural background or a country you recently visited. The lunch will take place at 12 - 1 pm in the Council Chambers, Ground Floor, Chancellery Building.

In the spirit of both Harmony Day and A Taste of Harmony, UNSW's Cultural Diversity Champion, Professor Vanessa Lemm, and the Workplace Diversity team are also curious to learn: "In one or two words only, what does cultural equity, diversity and inclusion mean to you?" Email your words to workplace.diversity@unsw.edu.au. Your responses will be summarised into a word cloud for use in our future cultural diversity communications.

Perhaps you would also like to run your own Harmony Day and 'A Taste of Harmony' initiatives? Become inspired and get creative! Check out the resources available at http://www.harmony.gov.au/resources/ and http://www.tasteofharmony.org.au/ideas.

You can also learn more about UNSW's Workplace Diversity initiatives.









1The 'average' Australian, episode 12 of the Australian Social Trends Podcast series, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 24 July 2013.
22011 Census reveals one in four Australians is born overseas, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 21 June 2012.