20 March 2006
Harmony through diversity: Australia celebrates national Harmony Day
In light of last December’s unprecedented anti-Muslim violence on Sydney’s North Cronulla beach, ‘Harmony Day’ will take on greater meaning for Australians this year.
More than 100,000 new migrants land on Australia’s sunny shores every year making it one of the highest per-capita immigrations in the world. Over time, these immigrants have brought 200 different languages to Australia, including 45 indigenous languages.
'Skilled migrants play a vital role in the growth of the Australian economy. When somebody offers their skills to Australia, they bring with them their social, cultural and economic beliefs which only serve to add to Australia's multicultural community,’ said Lauren Holmes of the Australian Visa Bureau.
‘Growing up in Australia, you realize that multiculturalism is what Australia is built on; it’s what keeps us alive as a nation. Skilled workers should be attracted to the thought of a new life in Australia, not deterred by the thought of a racial attack, nobody wants to fall victim to that’ says Holmes. ‘This years Harmony Day will be about moving forward and celebrating our multiculturalism while offering a ‘fair go’ in our culturally diverse nation, no matter what religion or skin colour’.
Australia is considered one of the great immigrant nations with more than six million people settling since 1945. In 60 years of post-war migration, Australia’s population has jumped from 6 million to approximately 20 million.
‘Australia’s carefully managed migration system is often criticized for its strict immigration policies. But the Australian economy is booming and it looks like the immigration targets for 2006-2007 will stay at least where they are, if not increasing in certain skill shortage areas. Australia is looking for skilled workers including nurses, engineers, bricklayers, electricians and automotive workers,’ says Holmes.
The Australian Government hopes that this years Harmony Day will present a simple yet powerful message; there is no place in the Australian community for racial intolerance or disharmony.
Australian Visa Bureau, who specialise in Australian visas immigration, are proud supporters of the Harmony Day.
About Harmony Day
Harmony Day was first introduced by the Australian Government in March 1999 to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Now in its eighth year, Harmony Day has grown to be a nationally recognised event that is celebrated by schools, community organisations, businesses, local governments and other groups across Australia.