Celebrating Harmony Week in Port Augusta

INCLUSIVE: Christine Martin, Jacinta McKenzie, Darlene Allen, Leone Wilson, Charlie Jackson and Jess Turner celebrate Harmony Week at the Eastside Foreshore
INCLUSIVE: Christine Martin, Jacinta McKenzie, Darlene Allen, Leone Wilson, Charlie Jackson and Jess Turner celebrate Harmony Week at the Eastside Foreshore

An integrated multicultural Australia is an important part of our national identity and in Port Augusta the story is no different.

In events throughout the city this week, the community came together to celebrate our diversity and recognise the importance of a multicultural society.

Harmony Week is represented by the colour orange to signify social communication and meaningful conversations.

Students at Willsden Primary School marked the occasion with each classroom taking on a different country's national identity, coming up with foods and games that represent the culture.

Student Wellbeing Leader James Laughton said the day is one of the biggest on the school's calendar.

"Harmony Day is important to us as a school because we're quite a diverse school and it's important to celebrate that multicultural aspect," he said.

"It's a really good opportunity for our school community to get together and celebrate that diversity. And also, a very fun day for the kids."

The Youth Centre, headspace, the Salvation Army, Centacare and Reconnect joined forces for a Harmony Day barbecue.

While the Stepping Stones Day Centre held a function at the Eastside Foreshore, combining Harmony Day celebrations with a Close the Gap event.

Stepping Stones Project Coordinator Alinda Hogg highlighted the importance of better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people.

Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"It's awful when you read that these people are dying up to 20 years younger than other citizens. Almost all these diseases are preventable. I feel we need to allow the ATSI population to have more of a say in their Social and Emotional Wellbeing and their health," Ms Hogg said.

"So much needs to change, apart from health, ie. housing education and self determination. To achieve this we all need to work together to make this happen. Two heads are better than one.

"A lovely gentleman said today, Why does it always take a tragedy to make people band together. Australia's tragedy has been going for far to long now and it needs to stop. Close this Gap people."

Since 1999, more than 77,000 Harmony Week events have been held across the country.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Harmony Day, celebrating a culturally diverse and inclusive Australia.