Planning Harmony Day

Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. In schools we celebrate inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for all Australians, from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from many countries around the world.

Harmony Day occurs on 21 March each year and coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The ongoing theme of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’. Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for all. By participating in Harmony Day activities, we can learn and understand how all Australians equally belong to this nation and enrich it.

How schools can be involved

  • Visit the Australian Government Harmony Day site for a collection of lesson ideas, lesson plans and student activities organised by level of schooling and subject area, and aligned to the Australian Curriculum. There are also interactive whiteboard activities designed to help teach about valuing cultural diversity.
  • Read the Harmony Day Stories - print one of the Harmony Day Story posters. These posters contain a hidden marker that activates stories in augmented reality.
  • Utilise the Harmony Day resources including badges and medals, and print material and graphics including certificates, invitations and posters.
  • Register your Harmony Day event - event registrations for 2018 Harmony Day celebrations open in early 2018.
  • Display the REJECT RACISM and Welcome posters supplied with your copy of the 2018 Calendar for Cultural Diversity in your classrooms and around the school. Discuss the messages conveyed by these posters. Racism hurts (PDF 242KB) posters are available from the Equity Resource Library.
  • Explore different strategies to help build awareness of multiculturalism and combat racism in schools using the Racism No way site.
  • Organise a cultural exchange with another school and share your talents.
  • Conduct a cultural diversity quiz - find examples at Racism. No way! Puzzles and quizzes or compose your own with interesting facts and figures from the 2011 census data.
  • Respond to poetry or write a spoken word poem that reflects Australia’s cultural diversity and submit to SBS Face up to Racism.
  • Enter a poster or song writingcompetition with Moving Forward Together. The theme for the 2018 competitions is ‘Growing together in Harmony’. Entry is free and financial prizes are awarded at a ceremony at NSW Parliament House.
  • Join the Harmony Walks conducted in different locations throughout the year. Help celebrate Australia’s national, ethnic and religious diversity. The walks are free and suitable for people of all ages and abilities. The walks, approximately one kilometer, incorporate food stalls and entertainment.

Wear orange

The following excerpt is taken from the Harmony Day website.

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.

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