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Home > News > 2017 > March > Harmony Day: celebrating our diversity

Harmony Day: celebrating our diversity

Harmony_Day_2.pngHeld every year on 21 March, Harmony Day is a celebration of our cultural diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.

Our union believes that our members and members of the community at large have a responsibility to create a safe, inclusive and harmonious nation for all those living in Australia. As unionists we do not just stand for the individual worker or the collective, we stand for all people seeking fairness, justice and understanding. 

The message of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’. The day aims to engage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity, and foster sense of belonging for everyone.

Schools, and everyone who works in them, play a vital role in supporting migrants, as well as refugees and people seeking asylum. IEUA-QNT, together with the Queensland Teachers’ Union, established Teachers for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum (TRAPSA) in order to provide a focus for members wishing to play their part in this global movement of welcome.

TRAPSA aims to provide support for representations to governments and employing authorities in relation to the implementation of policies and programs for refugees and people seeking asylum, and people from a refugee and asylum seeker background, in childcare centres, schools and TAFE institutes.

All members interested in working with us to support refugees and people seeking asylum are encouraged to join TRAPSA.  

Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has established Unions 4 Refugees, a campaign to involve activists from across the union movement to seek a more humane refugee policy. Members can pledge their commitment to this campaign via the QCU website. 

Schools can spread the message of ‘everyone belongs’ by getting involved in the celebration of Harmony Day. Harmony Day activities can be accessed via the Harmony Day website

Our union recognises the need to continue having meaningful conversations and promoting understanding amongst all Australians. As we share our stories, our sense of empathy grows deeper and further enriches the identity of our nation.

As a contribution to this, we would like to share a short story written by our Publications Officer, Sara El Sayed, exploring the importance of cultural identification and inclusion. Click here to read Sara's story, Stained.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.