Communities unite for Harmony Day

From left, Cardinia Shire Council Cr Michael Shilling, Cr Leticia Wilmot and Simon Curtis celebrated Harmony Day in Pakenham on Thursday.

The community came together to experience rich cultures in celebration of Harmony Day at the Living and Learning Centre in Pakenham on Thursday.

Music School of Hope founder sasha Rechichi said Harmony Day is about celebrating cultural diversity in our country.

“I believe it’s important to celebrate Harmony day because no matter what ethnic background you come from we all can come together on this day and be one in harmony,” she said.

“With racial conflict being at an all-time high this gathering shows that we are no different.”

The day consisted of varied performances including African drumming, Sudanese dancing and two group songs were performed by ESL and VCAL students.

To top it all off, there was a sign language performance, a vocal act performed by the Men’s Shed and a solo artist performance.

“Harmony Day is a time to share the message that ‘everyone belongs’,” Cardinia Shire mayor Graeme Moore said.

“This day encourages us all to engage with our community, respect cultural and religious diversity, and foster a sense of belonging for everyone.

After all, Australia’s cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are.”

In Cardinia Shire alone, residents originate from an estimated 150 different nationalities.

“Our migrant communities continue to make significant contributions to our economic, social and cultural life in many areas, including education, arts and sport,” Cr Moore said.

“As a growing municipality, it is to our benefit to create a unified community, with a blended cultural essence of our own.

“I am proud to be a part of a community that works together to ensure everyone feels they belong.”