Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Media release

Harmony Week and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Every year in March, Australians come together to mark Harmony Week, culminating in the observance of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21st of March.

Australia is one of the world’s most successful multicultural nations. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures as well as migrants from nearly 200 countries.

This week schools, workplaces and community groups will reflect on this diversity by participating in events across the country and nearly 7000 people from more than 120 countries will become new citizens.

Multiculturalism is integral to our national identity- but we cannot take it for granted.

This International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marks 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and focuses on the urgent need to combat racism and racial discrimination.

The Albanese Government has invested $7.5m to the Australian Human Rights Commission in order to develop a national anti-racism strategy to tackle racism and promote racial equality in Australia.

No matter where you were born, what language you speak, or the faith you practice, Australia should be a country where you can aspire and succeed without restriction.

Quotes attributable to Minister Giles:

“Today provides all Australians with an occasion to celebrate our vibrant multiculturalism and reflect on how each of us, and more of us, can do more to help stamp out racism in our communities.

“We’ve come a long way since Australia’s first multicultural policy 50 years ago. We're increasingly not afraid of having difficult conversations about our past, present and future, of questioning our ways and acknowledging our mistakes, and finding new ways to live better, in harmony."