Harmony Day is part of Cultural Diversity Week, designed to celebrate Australia’s multicultural society.
Maroondah has significant cultural influences, including the role of the Mullum Mullum Creek in Wurundjeri culture, European migration that settled into the area after World War II, and more recently communities from South Sudan and Burma.
Eastern Volunteers in partnership with Victoria Police, Relationships Australia Victoria, EACH, Department of Justice, Migrant Information Centre and Maroondah City Council, held a day of cultural festivities on the Main Stage at Eastland Shopping Centre.
Performances included traditional Wurundjeri dances, music from the Chin and Karen communities from Burma, reggae from an African solo guitarist and Scottish highland dancers. I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the proceedings, providing an introduction to each performance, as well as highlighting activities throughout the day. I also kept the audience engaged, by discussing the activities of the partners and showcasing the range of festivities planned for Harmony Day.
The Harmony Day Concert was supported by a postcard exhibition, featuring community entries depicting cultural diversity. Entries were received across Maroondah, including from schools, community centres and migrant groups.
One of the highlights was Maroondah signing a formal declaration stating that it welcomes refugees. The Council resolution, declaring Maroondah as a refugee welcome zone, was one of of my last actions as a Councillor in 2012. Maroondah’s formal signing of the declaration reaffirms this commitment.
The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition enabled the community to showcase the cultural diversity and welcoming atmosphere of Maroondah. It was a pleasure to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies and to promote cultural understanding through the event.