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University celebrates Harmony Day


Zuleika Henderson
17 March 2009
Staff and students across Southern Cross University’s three campuses will host a range of activities to celebrate cultural diversity as part of this years’ national Harmony Day.

Held annually, Harmony Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the multicultural community and the contribution it makes to intercultural understanding both on campus and in the community.

At Southern Cross University’s Coffs Harbour campus, festivities will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18), while celebrations at Lismore and Tweed Heads are scheduled for Thursday, March 19.

Rachel Callahan, manager of Equity Services, said the theme this year was ‘everyone belongs.’

“Harmony Day is an opportunity to celebrate diversity both in the University and the greater community,” said Ms Callahan.

“The activities are about getting people involved from all cultures and are aimed at encouraging respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.”

The Coffs Harbour program includes food from around the world, a poetry competition, lion dancing, a screening of Chinese film ‘Redcliff’ and a competition for the most outrageous orange outfit – the theme colour for Harmony Day.

The Lismore campus will host a lecture by two Aboriginal women who are living in “prescribed areas” under the Northern Territory intervention. Barbara Shaw from the Mt Nancy Town Camp in Alice Springs and Elder Aunty Valerie Martin from the Yuendumu Community North West of Alice Springs will be speaking at the lecture, entitled ‘Talking Up the Territory.’ Organised through SCU’s Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, the lecture will examine the issues surrounding government intervention in the Northern Territory.

Other activities at the Lismore campus include a Harmony Day café lunch and giant cake, international cuisine and bush food tasting, a barbeque with live music and a ‘Mixed Up Reels’ film night which will screen films themed around understanding and cooperation.

At SCU Riverside, Tweed Heads, staff and students at the University will celebrate with a picnic, face painting, an international goods trading table and a live performance by staff band, the Desperados.

Photo: Barbara Shaw (left) and Aunty Valerie Martin will speak at Harmony Day celebrations at SCU's Lismore campus.