A powerful reminder of why Harmony Day is so important 


On Saturday, March 18, while I was celebrating our Carlton Harmony Day event at Carlton Primary School, not far from us a quite different event was taking place …

A group of white supremacists was doing Nazi salutes outside the Victorian Parliament. It’s a stark reminder of why Harmony Day is so important.

Harmony Day is an annual event in Australia that celebrates the country’s cultural diversity. It is held on March 21, which is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The day is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values. 

The Carlton Harmony Day event was a joyous occasion that brought people of different cultures and backgrounds together to celebrate the value of diversity. The event was filled with music, food, activities for kids, and dance, with people coming together to share their experiences and stories. People of all ages and backgrounds mingled, enjoying each other’s company, and learning about each other’s cultures. Greens Party leader and local MP Adam Bandt and Lord Mayor Sally Capp both spoke about the importance of diversity in our multi-cultural city.

Heading into Harmony Day a few people asked me why such days and events are still needed. The events taking place outside Parliament that day demonstrate why. It’s sad and dangerous that in this day and age, some people choose to hate others based on their race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity or religion. The actions of the white supremacists at an anti-trans protest were not only shocking but a reminder that we still have a long way to go in creating a world where everyone is accepted and valued for who they are.

It’s also a reminder that rights and freedoms must constantly and vigilantly be defended. There will always be individuals and groups that seek to promote hate and intolerance and it is crucial that we challenge hateful ideologies and work toward building a world that is free from discrimination and bigotry. We must continue to come together, celebrate our differences, and spread love and kindness. Diversity is not something to be feared, but rather something to be celebrated and embraced.

With that in mind – I’d like to extend an invitation to all the Carlton and surrounding communities to attend our free “Curry Off” event on Thursday, May 11, 3.30pm to 6pm at the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC), 20 Princes St.

Cook your favourite curry to win a trophy! There will be guest judges, children’s activities, music, and food. Come along to celebrate Neighbourhood House Week, Ramadan and learn about CNLC programs.

To enter your curry come at 3pm to 4pm and register your winning curry at the table inside the back gate. See you there! •

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