Hobart celebrates Harmony Week together

The City of Hobart joined community organisations to celebrate Harmony Week from 20-23 March through food, dance, music and discussion.

Franklin Square came alive with a daily program of culturally diverse food, music and dance performances accompanied by a wide range of community organisation stalls to highlight the support and resources available in the city.

The four-day celebration offered attendees samples from the Migrant Resource Centre kitchen, plus music and dance from cultures including Argentina, Zimbabwe, Japan, Israel, Africa, Chile, India, Nepal, Korea, Sri Lanka and China.

Members of the public also had the opportunity to partake in a series of ‘Diversity Discussion’ panel conversation events.

Welcoming and Inclusive City Portfolio chair Cr Dr Zelinda Sherlock said the Harmony Week celebration was an opportunity to reflect on the benefits that cultural diversity brings to the community.

“The message of Harmony Week was ‘everyone belongs’ and throughout the week we discussed how the community can work together to change ingrained social issues of racism and systemic oppression,” she said.

“The City of Hobart aspires to be the most inclusive city in the world – a city that welcomes all.

“We believe that no matter your background or life experience, and regardless of whether you were born here or arrived as an immigrant, refugee or international student, you should feel valued and be able to participate fully in the community.”

The Multicultural Council of Tasmania recently surveyed more than 200 Tasmanian board members and senior executives and found that less than one per cent were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“There is a lot of talent in migrant communities but we often do not see this translated into meaningful employment or leadership positions,” Multicultural Council of Tasmania chair Dattaraj Mahambrey said. “I urge Tasmanian workplaces to think about how we can make kinder and more supportive work environments so that more migrants and refugees have access to fulfilling employment.

“Harmony Week is about bringing the community together to celebrate difference and to practice inclusivity.”

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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