House debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Statements by Members

Harmony Day

1:45 pm

Photo of Andrew GilesAndrew Giles (Scullin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure) Share this | | Hansard source

This is Harmony Week and Sunday is Harmony Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We recognise that multiculturalism is one of Australia's greatest achievements, with people from more than 200 countries speaking more than 260 languages. Australia's diversity is our greatest strength. No matter who you are, where you were born or the language you first spoke, everyone belongs in Australia. The richness and diversity of languages and cultures in Australia must be recognised and celebrated, not taken for granted. We can't afford to be complacent.

At a time of rising racism, we must recommit to being a place where everyone feels that they belong and where no-one is left behind, so I welcome the Race Discrimination Commissioner's recently proposed antiracism framework. Labor has been calling for a national antiracism strategy for over a year because it's not enough for a government to simply condemn racism. This requires a strategy to tackle racism through leadership and with financial support. Words must be supported by action. So, as we celebrate Harmony Day, let us renew and strengthen our commitment to our multiculturalism, to ending racism and to promoting respect and inclusiveness for all.