On Harmony Day, Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan urged all Australians to take personal responsibility for creating a more harmonious society by practising kindness, understanding and by opposing racism.
Commissioner Tan said, “Now more than ever we need to support one another, be kind and work together to fight a virus that does not recognise race, religion or ethnicity. We are all in this together.”
With Harmony Day falling six days after the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attack, Commissioner Tan called on a united effort in opposing racism and violent extremism.
“Harmony Day is an opportunity to reflect on what we can each do to create a better society – one that embodies our shared values of fairness, equality and opportunity for all Australians,” Commissioner Tan said.
“Racism thrives in societies that fail to stand up to it. That’s why it is the responsibility of all Australians to say ‘No’ wherever racism or xenophobia appears.”
Harmony Day marks our commitment to the principles of the International Convention on the Elimination of all form of Racial Discrimination, a landmark commitment made by counties around the world in 1965.
The theme for this year’s Harmony Day celebration is ‘Everyone Belongs’. Despite many events being cancelled because of Coronavirus, Commissioner Tan said it remains important to observe the day, which seeks to unite and bring all Australians together.
“Since we can’t gather in public this year, I invite people to express our multicultural values on social media. Harmony Day is an opportunity to reaffirm those values,” Commissioner Tan said.
People are invited to share Commissioner Tan’s Harmony Day message on Facebook. The United Nations also provides a range of useful resources to share on social media. And you can use the hashtags #HarmonyDay, #RacismItStopsWithMe and #FightRacism.