Harmony Day

Harmony Day is an event held across Australia on 21 March, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Targeted mainly at primary-school aged children, Harmony Day is an effort to demonstrate the Australian Government's commitment to promoting community harmony and to addressing issues of racism in Australia. Organised by "The Living in Harmony Initiative", which in turn is administered by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), the events major objectives are focused on reducing racial prejudice and intolerance in Australia. The event is symbolised by the Orange Awareness Ribbon, worn or displayed by those associating with the day's ideals and morals.

On 8 February 2008, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson,asked for a review of the Living in Harmony program, including Harmony Day.

Objectives

The Living in Harmony Initiative is designed to highlight cultural issues for all Australian citizens, and give all Australian's collective goals to reduce racism within Australia, such as::* Take a stand against racism, prejudice and intolerance;:* Help build a peaceful and productive future for our children by setting an example of how to live in harmony, making the most of our racial, cultural, social and religious diversity; and:* Put into practice the best of traditional Australian values - justice, equality, fairness and friendship.:* Celebrate Australia's many successes as a diverse and harmonious multicultural society;:* Re-commit to our common values of respect and goodwill towards our fellow Australian's of all backgrounds; :* Say 'no' to racism.Harmony Day originated in 1999 and has been a very important date of the year that we celebrate and bring together Australians to bring peace and Harmony to our world.

Implementation

The initiative is being implemented through three complementary national programs: a community grants program, a partnerships program and a public information strategy that features Harmony Day on 21 March each year.

Community Grants

The Living in Harmony initiative's community grants program was designed to develop local solutions against racism at a community level. Grants are available to incorporated, non-profit organisations. The future of the grants program is uncertain, currently the program is under evaluation and any decision about the continuation of the initiative, including the community grants program, is unlikely to be announced before May 2006.

Partnership Programs

The Partnerships Program enables the Australian Government to work with major [Organization|organisations] and peak bodies who contribute resources to projects of national or strategic significance. The Living in Harmony partnerships explore ways of improving social cohesion, tackling racism and generating better understanding, respect and cooperation among Australians of all backgrounds.

Harmony Day Events

Harmony Day Events are primarily organised and run by community leaders or school board members or teachers. The Living in Harmony initiative supplies organised with free 'starter-packers' containing an array of merchandise associated with the day, such as stickers, badges, and sign displays. The initiative also recalls success stories of previous years events, and supplies a list of common successful methods to plan for the day.

;Major events
* Harmony Cup (Melbourne, Victoria)

External links

* [http://www.harmony.gov.au/ Harmony Day official website]
* [http://www.immi.gov.au/index.htm Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs home]


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