A day of harmonious celebration in Carlton

Jack Hayes

Carlton’s heart will beat with the sights, sounds and smells of multicultural celebration this March with the celebration of Harmony Day at Carlton Primary School.

Running from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, March 18, Harmony Day will see more than 10 organisations within the Carlton Community Network join forces in a day filled with food, performances and family-friendly activities.

The Lord Mayor Sally Capp and federal member for Melbourne Adam Bandt will be in attendance for the event, which for 2023, is organised with the help of 24 University of Melbourne Executive Master of Arts students.

Carlton Neighborhood Learning Centre community development manager and 10-year Harmony Day veteran, Elle Morell, told Inner City News the event has been integral in “bringing together a diverse community to celebrate the fact that we can live together without experiencing things like racism and disadvantage”.

“There’s probably about 15 different activities on the day, a lot of them designed for children, ranging from face painting to a petting zoo,” Ms Morell said.


It’s an opportunity to connect with different services and programs in the local area as well as to enjoy food made by a diverse range of cooks that offer their time and delicious treats.


“I think it’s really important for the residents living at the public housing estate in particular, because it’s often the only festival or event they’ll attend in the year, and it’s not only a chance to showcase their culture, but it’s also to meet with people in their community.”

While Harmony Day will feature a number of performances throughout the event, Ms Morell, a self-confessed fanatic, has earmarked headliner Afrodelic and spoken word poet Maxine Beneba Clarke as acts you just cannot miss.

University of Melbourne student and member of the Harmony Day event organising team, Jia Fu, said despite the challenges in piecing together an event of this scale, the experience that had been gained was invaluable.

“As students, we haven’t been exposed to this kind of practical organisation,” she said. “But with the help of our community and our lecturer Anna [Kosovac] we have been able, with more than 30 different people, to turn this event into reality.”

“Everyone in the Carlton Community Network is very excited for the day, and we, as students, are looking forwarding to seeing how the event unfolds.”

Harmony Day is one of the many events to be delivered through the City of Melbourne’s Neighbourhood Funding Agreement.

The Lord Mayor told Inner City News it was “heart-warming to see local organisations come together at Carlton Primary School to mark Harmony Day, a representation of this vibrant, varied and caring pocket of Melbourne.”

“Carlton is home to the second-largest population of our municipality, with 63 per cent of residents born overseas, and 57 per cent speak a language other than English at home,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Carlton is one of our most diverse suburbs, well-known for its Italian cafes and restaurants, its artisan stores, Victorian heritage buildings, and leafy parks and gardens.” 

“Strengthening relationships between people from all backgrounds – and by celebrating respect and inclusivity in our communities – ensures everyone enjoys a sense of belonging.”

Harmony Day will run from 11am to 3pm, Saturday, March 18, at Carlton Primary School, 150 Palmerston St, Carlton. •

For more information: facebook.com/carltonharmonycelebration

Like us on Facebook