Chances are, even if you were born here, you will have many friends who were not, or others whose parents came to Australia as immigrants. We are a rich and colourful nation in so many ways, and Harmony Week is a time of year where we come together to celebrate this cultural diversity.
While this country is home to the oldest living culture on the planet, it is also home to some of the cultural newest arrivals from around the world. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are.
There are some fascinating statistics about Australia's ethnic diversity. Did you know that?
- Over 250 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia, including 800 dialects
- nearly half of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
- we identify with over 300 ancestries
- since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia
- The vast majority (85%) of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for the country
- Other than English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi
This makes for a colourful combination for cultural, traditional and religious practices. And if diversity is the spice of life, we are indeed one spicy melting pot. Collectively, these combined cultures have integrated into and enriched our nation over the past several decades.
Let's come together this week, and every week with friends and family through our schools, workplaces and our wider communities to celebrate our diversity as a people. You can find out more about Harmony Week, how to get involved and see a list of events around Australia here.