Local Governments, diverse

Whether you are from the nation’s smallest Local Government area or the biggest, promoting community harmony and cohesion is an important Local Government role.The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), in partnership with Local Governments across Australia, is organising this year’s National Harmony Day, to be held on 21 March.

Chairman of the Harmony Day sub-committee, Council for Multicultural Australia (CMA), Benjamin Chow, said the theme for this year’s Harmony Day was, ‘You + Me = Us’.

DIMIA and CMA are providing an opportunity for the community to think about the success of Australia as a multicultural society. It allows us to celebrate multiculturalism and recommit ourselves to continuing harmony and understanding among all Australians.

An important community event, the Department is encouraging all Australians to show their support, in any way they see fit in their local communities, demonstrating traditional Australian values of justice, equality, friendship and living in harmony.

“Local Governments are keen supporters of Harmony Day,” Benjamin Chow said.“By taking part in Harmony Day, Councils can reinforce their existing activities that promote tolerance and understanding in local communities.

“They can use Harmony Day to tell residents about their diversity programs and services, report their achievements and forecast plans for the next 12 months.”

He also said that harmonious communities were good for economic prosperity. One of the themes for Harmony Day will be ‘Productive Diversity’, recognising the economic value of culturally diverse communities. Through Productive Diversity, companies and communities can develop a competitive advantage by leveraging the skills and knowledge of their most valuable resource – their people.

For further information on Harmony Day 2002, telephone 1800 78 2002.