About 300 staff, volunteers and clients celebrated Australia’s cultural diversity on Harmony Day, with a halal sausage barbecue, music, dancing and a game of soccer.
At the event on Friday, March 21, Settlement Services International Humanitarian Services Delivery Manager Yamamah Agha said the message for people to consider was that “everyone belongs”.
“Today we are here to celebrate Harmony Day,” Yamamah said in her address to the event. "The message of Harmony Day is ‘Everyone Belongs’. It is a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world.
“It is a day to celebrate the cohesiveness and inclusiveness of Australia that promotes cultural diversity. It is a day to celebrate the peace and beauty of diversity. Around 7.2 million people have migrated to Australia since 1945. Forty-five percent of Australians were either born overseas or one of their parents was.
“At SSI, we have over 400 staff members of whom the majority are from diverse cultural backgrounds. And we have over 75 languages representing the diversity of its people. It is amazing to realise how harmonious our society is here in Australia and it is definitely something we need to celebrate.
“It is very important for all of us that we continually strive to use the talents of everyone in our community and give people equal opportunity to contribute their talents. Diversity is our strength. It makes us a stronger, more resilient nation.
“Let’s continue to celebrate the good work by you all.”