Harmony Day celebrations 2019

Everyone Belongs!

Harmony Day celebrations (002).jpg

On Thursday 21st March, 2019 the Multicultural Team of the Catholic Office turned the St Francis Xavier Cathedral Hall ‘Orange’ as the entire Diocesan staff, migrant communities, guests, clergy and our neighbours gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harmony Day in Australia at our annual, “Harmony Day Morning Tea”.

Harmony Day is a day we celebrate the gift of our diversity, our sense of belonging and our contributions and the contributions of many generations before us, to this country; making it one of the best multicultural countries in the world! This opening address from Sr Nien Tran, the Manager of the Multicultural Office, welcomed and united us all, as Basia Gebski acknowledged the traditional owners of our land.

The message of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs! We come from many countries around the world and together we make up the Australia story we share today. 
There was a strong theme of peace and harmony at our 2019 as we united to remember those lost in the tragedy at Christchurch, New Zealand.  Bishop Greg O’Kelly addressed this sad loss with a message of hope quoting statistics from the last Census that the majority of Australians truly value our cultural diversity and believe it has been great for our country.  He concluded with a beautiful quote from Dr Kalam, the late President of India, “When there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character.  When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home.  When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation.  When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”

Two valued members of our staff shared personal accounts of what harmony day means to them; helping us to connect and appreciate our own multicultural heritage and stories.
Together we all sung the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, holding hands and we sung his words promoting peace, love and unity in our world.

More than 100 people gathered to celebrate this special event. Flags of many Nations were displayed, a harmony day cake cut and multicultural food was shared with a community spirit of peace and unity. 

Please enjoy the pictures that capture well the wonderful spirit of our celebration of Harmony Day.