AboutWhat is Harmony Day?

21 March is Harmony Day

Harmony Day is a day to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, based on the successful integration of migrants into our community.

Australia is the most successful multicultural country on earth and we should celebrate this and work to maintain it.

Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.

Held every year on 21 March. The Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Since 1999, more than 70,000 Harmony Day events have been held in childcare centres, schools, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies across Australia.

How to celebrate?

Let’s come together with friends and family and through schools, workplaces and our wider communities to celebrate our diversity on and beyond 21 March.

Getting involved can be as simple as hosting an event or attending a local celebration. Visit out ‘Get involved ’ page for more information.

You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more information including simple ways to celebrate our diversity every day.

Why orange?

Orange is the colour chosen to represent Harmony Day. Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect. Australians can choose to wear something orange on 21 March to show their support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.

Our cultural diversity

Australia is a vibrant and multicultural country — from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world.

Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. It makes Australia a great place to live.

An integrated multicultural Australia is an integral part of our national identity. All people who migrate to Australia bring with them some of their own cultural and religious traditions, as well as taking on many new traditions. Collectively, these traditions have enriched our nation.

Facts and figures

There are some fascinating statistics about Australia’s diversity that can be good conversation-starters:

  • nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
  • we identify with over 300 ancestries
  • since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia
  • 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia
  • apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi
  • more than 70 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.

These facts are taken from ABS 2016 Census Data. Check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.