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Victoria celebrates Harmony Day 2013



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Victoria celebrates Harmony Day 2013 Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Joint media release with Brendan O'Connor MP - Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and Senator the Hon Kate Lundy - Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation.

Victorians will join together to celebrate Australia's multicultural spirit tomorrow as Harmony Day celebrations kick off across the country.

Tonight and tomorrow, Melbourne's Federation Square will light up orange - the colour of Harmony Day. Its big screen will play animations promoting 2013's theme Many Stories - One Australia.

Hundreds of events will also be staged statewide this week including the launch tonight in Fitzroy of a National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters' Council media kit to in part help new and emerging communities become radio broadcasters and also engage with mainstream media.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O'Connor, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said the annual celebration was a chance for all Australians to embrace the many things that make our country unique.

'The values of inclusiveness, respect and belonging are fundamental to the development of Australia's successful multicultural framework,' Mr O'Connor said.

'These values are at the core of what Harmony Day is about.

'This is a fantastic time to reflect on and celebrate the rich patchwork of cultures which make Australia such a fantastic place to live.'

Community groups, schools and businesses are again involved, including projects funded by the Gillard Government through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program, such as Banyule City Council's Taste of Harmony luncheon in the Bell Street Mall, Heidelberg West tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Maroondah will be declared a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone' at an art and cultures event hosted by the Maroondah Harmony Day Working Group at Eastland Shopping Centre on March 23.

Senator Lundy said the theme underpinning this year's celebration is Many Stories – One Australia, emphasising that each of Australia's 22 million citizens has a unique story to tell.

'The stories which make up the broader Australian narrative are varied and unique, and this year's theme aims to bring to light the amazing diversity amongst Australia's citizens,' Senator Lundy said.

'Australians have been encouraged to reflect on their journey and share it with others – in workplaces, on social network sites, at schools or within their communities.'

Since Harmony Day began in 1999, almost 50 000 events have been staged across Australia as community groups, schools, churches, local governments and the business community celebrate the cultures that make Australia a great place to live.

'Harmony Day is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the unique sense of belonging which has grown from Australia's multicultural foundation,' Mr O'Connor said.

'Together we can showcase the spirit of the cultural diversity which has made Australia what it is today.'

For more information on Harmony Day and events in Victoria, visit the website. See: Harmony Day

See: Index of Media Releases

URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/bo/2013/bo194353.htm Last update: Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 13:00 AEST