Harmony Day

Harmony Day – 21 March

Harmony Day on the 21 March (or Harmony Week in March) is a celebration of our cultural diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.

Our diversity makes Australia and the Northern Territory in particular a great place to live in. The message of Harmony Day is everyone belongs, the celebrations aim to engage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity and foster sense of belonging for everyone.

COTA NT’s Harmony Day

With the support of a small grant from the Northern Territory Government, COTA NT celebrates Harmony Day by inviting multicultural groups into its headquarters at Spillett House to share their culture through interviews, information, cuisine and performance.

All the way from Gambia, this shirt celebrates harmony between cultures

View Harmony Day 2017 photos.

Wearing orange

Orange is the colour chosen to represent Harmony Day. Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect. Australians can choose to wear something orange on 21 March to show their support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.

Our cultural diversity

COTA NT celebration of Harmony Day 2017 included African cuisine and drumming

Australia is a vibrant and multicultural country — from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. It makes Australia a great place to live.

Multicultural Australia is an integral part of our national identity. All people who migrate to Australia bring with them some of their own cultural and religious traditions, as well as taking on many new traditions. Collectively, these traditions have enriched our nation.

Facts and figures

There are some fascinating statistics about Australia’s diversity that can be good conversation-starters:

  • around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
  • we identify with about 300 ancestries
  • since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia
  • 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia
  • apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi
  • more than 60 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.

These facts are taken from ABS 2011 Census Data. Check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

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