The importance of inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic backgrounds, is the focus of this year’s Harmony Week.
Harmony Week celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, and this year’s event will run from Monday, 15 March to Saturday, 21 March with the theme ‘Everyone belongs’.
Saturday, 21 March 2021 is also the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
An integral part of our national identity is our vibrant and multicultural Australian community which is reflected across Queensland and the Northern Territory – from the world’s oldest continuing cultures of our First Nations Peoples to our newest arrivals.
IEU-QNT Growth Organiser and International Committee member Aaron Watson said we all have a responsibility to create a safe, inclusive and harmonious nation for everyone who calls Australia home.
“Harmony Week and Harmony Day are opportunities to promote the union values of inclusiveness, respect for diversity and a sense of belonging for everybody,” Aaron said.
IEU-QNT International Committee
Aaron encouraged members who have an interest in the work of the union movement abroad to join our International Committee.
“The International Committee ensures our union is part of a global movement by speaking out about exploitation, supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in addition to providing solidarity to unions across the world,” he said.
“We also aim to raise awareness of social justice issues the union movement is involved in overseas, such as the military coup and political violence occurring in Myanmar.
“Last year the International Committee helped support and raise money for communities across the Pacific who were devastated by the impact of COVID-19 whilst also suffering from severe natural disasters.
“It’s so important for our fellow unionists overseas to know they have our support and show our solidarity, especially during fraught and difficult times.
“Some of the recent work of our International Committee has also been to highlight local matters of international importance, including the ongoing human rights abuses and injustices occurring in our own backyard at the Kangaroo Point detention centre,” Aaron said.
TRAPSA and member action
Teachers for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum (TRAPSA), co-founded by the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) and our union, is an opportunity for members to take an active role in addressing the global refugee and asylum seeker crisis.
As part of Harmony Week, members can show support by wearing orange, organising and attending Harmony Week events in their workplace and integrating Harmony Week activities in the classroom.
Members interested in joining the IEU-QNT International Committee or taking a more active role in TRAPSA should visit the TRAPSA Facebook Page or contact Aaron Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Harmony Week resources for schools
- Access lesson plans, student activities and themed posters and graphics via the Australian Government Harmony Week website
- Computer-based learning activities are available from the No Way! website
- Programs and videos on race and prejudice produced for the classroom via SBS’s Face up to racism page.