Harmony Day 2016 – Social Services Minister, the Hon Christian Porter video transcript

Social Services Minister, the Hon Christian Porter MP:

Harmony Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Australia’s rich and vibrant cultural diversity.

On the 21st of March each year, people right across the nation celebrate our cultural diversity through Harmony Day and its message of “everyone belongs”.

This year the theme of Harmony Day is our diversity is our strength.

We’re very fortunate to live in one of the most culturally diverse nations on Earth.

Each day we enjoy all the results of that diversity. The diversity brings us broader perspectives, more ideas, greater innovation.  It connects us with the rest of the world.

Australia is known as the ‘lucky’ country, and I think we are very lucky to be a migrant country.
Our diversity includes the Indigenous cultures of Australia – the oldest living culture in the world.

And it also includes the cultural backgrounds of more than 7.2 million migrants including humanitarian entrants who have settled in Australia over the last 70 years.

Today, almost half of us were either born overseas or have a parent who was.

This includes some of our newest arrivals; refugees who have been accepted into Australia under the special humanitarian intake, fleeing persecution in Syria and Iraq.

In Melbourne, I met the Butti family who’d fled Iraq and were accepted into Australia under this intake. I was able to share this family’s excitement and joy at seeing their first real life kangaroo.

In Perth, I met the Kujah family and shared their first Australia Day celebrations in a fairly traditional Australian way – at a community BBQ. And that was I understand from them, a very stark difference to the war-torn Syrian city that they fled before being re-settled in Australia.

This Harmony Day I encourage all Australians to take the time to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the strength we receive from being such a diverse community.

You can visit our website at harmony.gov.au to register your Harmony Day event or to find out how you can get involved.