Harmony Day - Talking Points
21 March is Harmony Day
Harmony Day celebrates the cohesive and inclusive nature of our nation and promotes the benefits of cultural diversity.
Our diversity makes Australia a great place to live. Harmony Day is a celebration of our cultural diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.
Held every year on 21 March. The Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The message of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’, the Day aims to engage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity and foster sense of belonging for everyone.
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.
Our cultural diversity
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:
- nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
- we identify with over 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, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi
- more than 70 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.
These facts are taken from ABS 2016 Census Data. Check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.