“For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share.
“With courage let us all combine to Advance Australia Fair.”
Apart from the Indigenous people who have called this great land home for centuries, these words from the national anthem describe what has been happening for the past 230 years.
People from around the world are making their way to Australia to begin a new life.
With such diversity it is hard to imagine that so many people from so many countries can get together and create a homeland which is continually changing.
And yet they do, with great pride in their accomplishments.
The Scanlon Foundation and Monash University has found that 86 per cent of the Australian public continues to support diversity, believing that ‘multiculturalism has been good for Australia’ after recent research into social cohesion issues across the population.
Multiculturalism is part of the national identity.
It is the diversity which brings people together, creating new traditions from some of the old cultural and religious customs and making them adapt to include all Australians, while enhancing the nation.
It is this life which makes Australia the envy of other countries.
Harmony Day is celebrated around the nation on March 21, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
It is a time for everyone to look back and see racism for what it was, and look to the future as a time of cultural respect for everyone.
The day’s message for celebration of diversity, cultural respect and fostering of dignity should be shouted out loudly as Australia hosts Harmony Day events across the land.
- More information: Read the results of the Scanlon Foundation’s national survey on social cohesion, immigration and population issues at scanlonfoundation.org.au/socialcohesion2017.