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Harmony Day and Harmony Week 

Harmony Week is all about celebrating the amazing cultures that make up our country. Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world – from the oldest continuous culture of our First Australians to the 49% of Australians who were born overseas or have a parent who was.

Our cultural diversity is a great strength and brings with it a whole host of traditions, religions, languages and of course, food! It helps us to do things in different ways, reduces discrimination and lets us accept difference. Despite this, being anything other than Anglo can sometimes be challenging in Australia. It can feel like there’s nobody else like you and people’s lack of understanding sometimes leads to conflict.

You might know this event as 'Harmony Day' – it's been renamed 'Harmony Week' to recognise the diversity and inclusion activities that take place during the week e.g. at schools and workplaces. Harmony Week includes March 21, which is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We’ve put together some tips for how to make the most of Harmony Week.

Harmony Day cartoon five young people from around the world smiling and holding their country's flags

Share a meal

Get your mates together and host a Harmony meal – if there’s one thing that brings people together, it’s food! You could ask everybody to bring a dish that means something to them – it could be an old family recipe, a lunchbox favourite or a dish they like to whip up when they want to impress. Get everybody to make a card for their dish explaining what it is and why they brought it, helping everybody connect to each other's cultures.

Our mouths are watering just thinking about these recipes that young people on the ReachOut Online Community shared:

It's important to make your event as COVID-safe as possible. Serve your food in individual portions, and make sure that you aren’t using common platters or sharing utensils.

Harmony Day cartoon Jewish chicken soup with kneidel

Check out local community events

There’s plenty happening around Harmony Week so have a look if there’s an event in your local area. The folks who organise Harmony Week have made a handy calendar. Some events might even be after volunteers or people to share their story – if you’re up for it reach out to the organisers!

Share your story

It can be super powerful to hear other people’s stories. Realising that somebody else has felt the same way or made the same mistake helps you feel less alone.

Whether you’re thinking you might share at a Harmony Week event or you want to speak to your colleagues/friends/random strangers on the street – have a think about why you’re sharing and what you want to get across. Check out this short vid to hear from Roxy on how she found the strength to share her story.


Hearing or seeing your native (or second) language can be really comforting.

Harmony Day cartoon girl reading a book from the foreign language section 

Ask others about their culture

Hearing from others about their culture can be super interesting – just check out what some young people in our forums shared. It can also help you process your own thoughts and feelings. Carve some time out to hang with a friend or family member and ask what culture means to them.

“South Asia is already pretty well known for its amazing cuisine, and Sri Lanka is no exception. Sri Lanka was historically a trading port as well as longstanding centre for Buddhist studies – people from many different kingdoms in East Asia, the Middle East, and even Africa and Europe would come to trade resources and knowledge, and that had a pretty strong effect on the cuisine.”

“What makes me proud is the connection I have with other Indigenous people, even if I barely know them. It’s like I feel so comfortable and welcome in their presence.”

Feeling nervous about having a chat – check out our 3 steps to better communication.

Reconnect with the people you miss

It can be hard living apart from loved ones, especially if, for you, that means they’re in another country. Use Harmony Week as a chance to prioritise a Zoom or FaceTime sesh.

Harmony Day cartoon girl using laptop to talk with overseas relatives

Reconnect with the places you miss

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, put some time aside to spend on country. If this is something that you do regularly you’ll probably already have a good idea of what works for you. If spending time on country is a little harder or unfamiliar, you could ask an Auntie, Uncle, Elder or friend to welcome you onto their land and learn about their traditions and practices. This sort of reconnection with land can be healing and beneficial for your wellbeing.

For others, think about visiting a favourite restaurant, park or a friend’s house that reminds you of your culture. If you’re in a major city, you could even head to a cultural enclave – just google your city and the culture and you’ll be able to find the locations. For instance, in Sydney you’ll find a large Vietnamese population in Cabramatta, in Brisbane Sunnybank is where you go for Chinese culture and in Melbourne, Dandenong is the home of the Indian community.

Feeling a sense of belonging is really important to make you feel good. Taking the time to connect with and share your culture will go a long way in helping you feel like you’re not alone.