A Taste of Harmony

Article image - A Taste of Harmony

Sixty councils and Local Government Associations from across Australia participated in the first ever ‘A Taste of Harmony’ last month.

Among the 60,000 people from more than 1,300 workplaces and restaurants who celebrated the week, held from 16 to 22 March, were 30 Local Governments from Victoria, 19 from Queensland, five from New South Wales, and three from South Australia and Western Australia.

The councils participated in ‘A Taste of Harmony’ to celebrate the cultural diversity in their workplaces and communities by holding lunches and other food oriented activities.

Scanlon Foundation Chairman, Peter Scanlon, thanked Local Government for supporting the initiative.

“Everyone at the Scanlon Foundation is heartened to see that so many councils and Local Government Associations were committed to celebrating their cultural diversity,” he said. “The creativity and goodwill in councils and Local Government workplaces has been incredible and shows Australia’s rich cultural diversity is truly something to be celebrated.”

Among the celebrations, Lismore City Council in northern New South Wales rallied local restaurants to register and create special lunch deals for local workers.

Council joined with the International Rainbow Club and the Northern Rivers Migrant Service to hold a special A Taste of Harmony celebration on 15 March at the Lismore Town Hall, with attendees dressing up in cultural dress while sharing food from their diverse backgrounds.

The Municipal Association of Victoria had a culturally diverse feast on 19 March, complete with lamingtons and giant jaffas.

Dr Berhan Ahmed, the 2009 Victorian of the Year, was a guest speaker at the lunch. He talked about his jobseeking experiences as a former refugee and the importance of giving former refugees a chance to contribute in the community.

Plans are already under way for ‘A Taste of Harmony 2010’ and campaign organisers are calling on all councils and Local Government Associations to register now to participate in next year’s event.

Councils are also encouraged to engage with their local traders associations to turn A Taste of Harmony into a community wide celebration.

To register, visit the website www.tasteofharmony.org.au