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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3750

Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (13:51): I also add my condolences. March 21 is Harmony Day, a day when all Australians celebrate our cultural diversity, and it is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In 2012, we celebrate the important role that sport plays in bringing Australians from all walks of life together to share in a common passion, with the key messages of play, engage and inspire. The aim of Harmony Day 2012 is to encourage everyone regardless of background to participate in sporting activity, to increase understanding and to be inspired or to inspire others. Harmony Day encourages and embraces community participation, inclusiveness and respect. Since 1999, when the Howard government initiated the Living in Harmony program, more than 25,000 Harmony Day events have been staged in childcare centres, schools, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies. The event is growing in popularity and participation. Last year nearly 6,500 events were registered. In schools throughout the country it provides a great opportunity for students to learn not only that they share common ground with other cultures but also that our differences make Australia a very special place to live.

I was very pleased to attend and address the Harmony Day Festival opening on Saturday at Multicap in Eight Mile Plains. I thank Global United Ethnics, particularly their president, Shan Ju Lin, for their invitation to this event. (Time expired)