Harmony Week kit
The kit is full of ideas for ways to celebrate Harmony Week
Welcome to Harmony Week
Harmony Week is an opportunity for all Western Australians to celebrate our vibrant multicultural State.
The week runs from 15-21 March every year and encourages everyone to experience, explore and appreciate WA's wealth of cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity.
Harmony Week is a State Government multicultural community relations initiative. The week always ends on 21 March, a date that marks the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Find out what's on and take part in Harmony Week. Check the Community Events Calendar.
Harmony Week 2013
Let us know about your Harmony Week 2013 event and we’ll publicise it on
the Community Events Calendar on this website.
See submission guidelines for more information.
Origin of Harmony Week
Harmony Week is a Western Australian Government initiative launched in 2003 that is held every year from 15 to 21 March.
This week coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid 'pass laws'. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the UN General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
Cultural diversity’s benefits
Harmony Week is an opportunity to consider the many benefits WA gains from its culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Benefits include job creation, improved skill levels, the introduction of new skills and networks, and improved economies of scale.
The economic advantages are also many. Our diverse communities link us strongly with the rest of the world and increase our competitiveness in this global market.
Harmony Week is an opportunity for all Western Australians to celebrate our diversity while working to remove barriers that still exist in the community.
Take part in the many events that take place in Perth and all over WA during Harmony Week, or think up some of your own.
The Harmony Week Kit is full of ideas for ways to celebrate for communities, businesses, government organisations, schools and individuals—your imagination is the limit!
Multicultural and educational resources
The following web-based education materials enable primary and secondary school students with their teachers to undertake practical classroom activities that explore and raise awareness of issues related to multiculturalism, human rights, racism and discrimination. The activities on this site are suitable for upper primary and secondary school students.
A World of Difference – Teachers’ resource kit
The Department of Education and Training and Office of Multicultural Interests have produced A World of Difference – A resource for teachers to introduce students to the principles of multiculturalism in Western Australia.
This resource has been developed to assist teachers in providing knowledge, skills, understanding and appreciation of WA’s cultural diversity. The resource:
- teaches awareness of the importance of cultural and other forms of diversity.
- identifies the key issues of cultural and other forms of diversity in Western Australia.
The kit is available on the OMI website – click here for details.
Making Multicultural Australia
Making Multicultural Australia is a website that aims to assist upper primary and secondary school students, their parents, teachers and the wider community explore our cultural diversity. It provides information on the contributions that different cultural groups have made to the development of Australian society and on the various views towards immigration and multiculturalism that have historically influenced government policies and programs in Australia.
Racism No Way
Website: Racism No Way
The Racism, No way! project aims to assist school communities and education systems to recognise and address racism in the learning environment. Various teaching and learning activities targeting students in the upper primary and secondary school are provided. Racism, No way! is an Australian anti-racism education initiative managed by the NSW Department of Education and Training.
The Refugee Council of Australia
Teacher resources: www.refugeecouncil.org.au/newsevents/rwinfopack.html
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. It has more than 130 organisational members and 250 individual members.
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) – Teachers’ Corner
UNHCR offers a range of educational resources to assist learning about refugee experiences, including books, games, pamphlets and brochures, and educational kits. Teacher’s Corner offers ideas for lessons plans and integrating refugee issues into the classroom as well as a wide range of educational resources. The activities on this site are suitable for upper secondary school students.
Voices of Australia: Education Module – Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Voices of Australia: Education Module allows for the different stories of Australian people to be heard and celebrated in the classroom. Students will increase their awareness about experiences of diversity, discrimination, race relations, friendship and respect. The teaching and learning activities in this module are applicable for use in upper primary Civics and Citizenship and lower secondary Civics and Citizenship, English, Personal Development and Arts.
Perceptions of race and crime
(click on ‘For teachers, and in the Lesson Library choose the ‘Diversity Portrayal’ in the drop-down box entitled ‘elementary’)
This lesson, from the Canadian-based Media Awareness Network, makes students aware of how the media’s portrayals of race and crime can affect our attitudes towards various visible minority groups in our society. The resource is suitable for upper primary and secondary school students.
Understanding human rights
This teaching resource from the BBC World Service explains the universal principles of human rights through case studies from around the world. Use one or more of the case studies to provide a structured classroom discussion or debate on the issue of human rights. The activities on this site are suitable for upper secondary school students.
Games from around the world
Children’s games provide a creative and fun way to view other cultures. The games are contained in Games and Sports the World Around, 3rd edition, by Sarah Ethridge Hunt, Copyright 1964 by the Ronald Press Company. The games are suitable for primary school students.
The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia
(click on ‘exhibitions online’ and ‘for schools – teacher’s notes for exhibitions online’)
The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia has been established to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about how our political system works and how to participate in it more fully. The website provides various online exhibitions on Constitutional matters and some teaching material to accompany the exhibitions. The activities on this site are suitable for upper primary and secondary school students.
Understanding prejudice in media
The exercise from the Media Awareness Network in Canada is an interactive module for Grades 7 and 8, designed to increase students’ ability to recognise bias, prejudice and hate propaganda on the internet and in other media. An extensive teachers’ guide accompanies the exercise. Students will need to have access to a computer to undertake the exercise online. The activities on this site are suitable for upper primary and lower secondary school students.
The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (VFST) provides a range of services to people from refugee backgrounds who have survived torture or trauma. Publications and resources are designed to enhance understanding of the needs of people from refugee backgrounds and encompass areas such as health and wellbeing, school and education resources and curriculum material.