Harmony day started in 1999 and occurs on or around 21 March each year to celebrate Australia's success as a diverse society united by a common set of values.
Australia today is a nation built on immigration. We have a proud history of welcoming people from around the world and since 1945 more than 6.5 million migrants have come to Australia. Australians speak over 300 languages, including indigenous languages, identify with more than 200 ancestries and practise a range of religions.
Australia's cultural diversity is a reality which will continue.
PPSEAWA has been involved in celebrating Australia's cultural diversity since 2006 when the Australian Women's Coalition funded several Harmony Day events in capital cities. As March is a very busy month for women in Canberra we decided that a walk by the lake followed by morning tea would be an appropriate way to celebrate Harmony Day. This year as Easter celebrations occurred around 21 March we held our Harmony Day event on the following Sunday 30 March.
Thanks again to the sponsorship of AWC, and partnering with Australian Church Women, we held a walk by Lake Burley Griffin at 10am followed by morning tea at the Deck restaurant overlooking the lake. Forty women from different cultural backgrounds and organisations shared stories and fellowship in the brilliant autumn sunshine. A special treat this year was the singing of a small group of Tongan women. Thanks to excellent planning by Noelle Leonard and Luisa Latukefu it really was a most harmonious occasion and everyone is looking forward to another such event in 2009.