Federal Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland MP, hosted a Harmony Day morning tea today at The Ponds Community Hub which saw over 100 members of the community come together to celebrate the diversity of our local community, and Australia’s multicultural success story.
Attendees were invited to bring a dish to share and wear traditional dress. Many people dressed for the occasion and bought international delicacies, some of which were prepared with recipes passed down through their family over generations.
The Ponds High School’s Ukulele Group entertained the crowd with a musical performance, and the Gujarati Garba dance group had the audience out of their seats dancing in harmony together.
We were also fortunate to have NSW Australian of the Year finalist Deng Adut speak about his inspirational story, and tell the crowd how important the message of Harmony Day is, and that we should all live this message of inclusion and respect every day of the year.
Ms Rowland said the morning tea was also a wonderful opportunity for local residents to experience the many different cultures, customs and traditions that comprise our local community.
“Recently we’ve seen that the value of multiculturalism and acceptance are under question around the world. Sadly here at home we have also seen under the Turnbull Government a commitment to weakening protections from racial discrimination, which they unbelievably announced on Harmony Day. Thankfully these changes were defeated in the Parliament last night due to opposition from Labor, and the support of ethnic communities right around Australia,” Ms Rowland said.
“At times like this, celebrating Harmony Day together is an opportunity to reject talk of exclusion and fear. Today our local community came together to reinforce how multiculturalism has strengthened Australia’s economic prosperity and social cohesion.
“To see local schoolchildren, our dedicated police, and so many members of community come together to enjoy today was a fantastic sight. It’s occasions like this which make us all proud to be Australians, and makes me particularly honoured to represent our local area in our national Parliament,” Ms Rowland said.