The central message for Harmony Week is that ‘everyone belongs’, reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians. Harmony Week is a great opportunity to recognise that inclusiveness is an Australian value. If possible, the Aussie of the Month could be presented in a Harmony Week assembly, with a student from a diverse background given the opportunity to tell their story, or for a student to be recognised for their effort in including all.
In 2023, Harmony Week is celebrated nationally from 20-26 March and in Western Australia from 15-21 March.
Stand Up For Diversity
Ask students to stand in their assembly who were not born in Australia. Remaining students are then asked to stand if any of their parents were born in Australia, followed by their grandparents, and finally any of their friends or community. This visual technique is an opportunity to show students that the Australian identity is not determined by where they are born, but their involvement in the community.
Have members of the community tell how they or their families arrived in Australia. Stories from students, staff and members of the community could be used to show students the multicultural nature of Australia, and recognise the unique journeys many make to be here.
Classroom Quilt Project
Students could create a quilt for their classroom wall, where each student is given the opportunity to draw something significant to their culture.
If your school is holding an event for Harmony Week, you can register the event on the Department of Home Affairs' Harmony Week website. Register your event here.
Explain the concept of ‘culture’
How many different languages are spoken in the classroom?
How can we help all people feel like they belong in Australia?
There are plenty of tools and ideas to help your students get involved in Harmony Week. The Department of Home Affairs has provided useful and engaging resources, including promotional kits and lesson plan ideas. Click below to access them.
Presenting your Aussie of the Month during Harmony Week
To celebrate Harmony Week, you could invite a representative from a local multicultural association or a significant individual from a diverse background.
During your assembly, you can play a special recorded message from 2023 Australia's Local Hero, Amar Singh, or 2021 Australia's Local Hero, Rosemary Kariuki! Stream and download the videos here.