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Queensland celebrates Harmony Day 2013

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Queensland 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.

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

Hundreds of events will be staged around the state, including a day of celebrations, performances and workshops at Woodridge State High School in Brisbane's south.

The proudly diverse school, with more than 64 cultural groups represented in the student body, will host motivational speakers and workshops including Afghan kite flying. Various cultural performances will include indigenous dancers, African drumming and Bollywood and Pacific Islander dances.

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 getting involved, with events including a community multicultural festival in the Lockyer Valley, a lunchtime barbeque at the Toowoomba City Council Green and a Harmony Day breakfast at Edge Hill State School in Cairns where an anti-racism education program will be launched.

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 the events being staged in your state or territory visit the website. See: Harmony Day

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URL: Last update: Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 12:52 AEST