Cultural Diversity Week is an opportunity to recognise multicultural ism and to promote inclusiveness within our community. Harmony Day marks the final day of Cultural Diversity Week with its message of Everyone Belongs.
Throughout the day Centrelink, Eastern Regional Libraries, Maroondah City Council, Department of Justice, Mission Australia, Migrant Information Centre and Ringwood Police organised a Festival outside the Ringwood Library to promote Harmony Day and Cultural Diversity Week.
The theme for this year’s Harmony Day is Express Yourself and the festivities included face painting, music, dance and story telling. It was great to see such a strong interest in the event and the participation of many members of our community.
I was invited to officially launch the event and the opening speech is included below:
In the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge that we are meeting on land for which the Wurundjeri people have been custodians for many centuries, and on land which the Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.
We, Maroondah City Council, accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.
The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.
The message of respecting individuality encompasses events like Cultural Diversity Week and Harmony Day, underpinning the theme of Everyone Belongs.
Welcome to the festivities celebrating Harmony Day and Cultural Diversity Week. Today’s event has been organised by Centrelink, Eastern Regional Libraries, Maroondah City Council, the Department of Justice, Mission Australia and the Migrant Information Centre and I would like to thank these organisations and the many individuals involved in these preparations.
I would also like to thank the Ringwood Police for their ongoing support and the Rotary Club of Ringwood for providing the halal sausage sizzle today. It is fantastic to see how many organisations come together to plan, promote and participate in such as a worthwhile event.
I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Cr. Tony Dib, Tony was Mayor in 2008 and promoting diversity is a passion that the two of us share.
The key message for Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs and this resonates within the City of Maroondah, where we we welcome diversity and strive to create a sense of belonging within our community. This year’s theme for Harmony Day is Express Yourself and the entertainment, through dancing, singing and storytelling will provide an opportunity for expression.
Please do enjoy the festivities today and ensure that we create a community where Everyone Belongs.