Cultural diversity promotes harmony

Getting ready for Byron Harmony Day, this group of people celebrate their different cultures.
Getting ready for Byron Harmony Day, this group of people celebrate their different cultures.
The incredible variety of Byron Shire’s cultural diversity will be celebrated at Byron Harmony Day on Saturday – the biggest multicultural festival ever held in the shire.
From Chinese dragons to Spanish senoritas, the event being held at Railway Park and the Byron Bay Community Cultural Centre will bring together an array of cultures.
A spokesperson for the Byron Harmony Team said that an exciting, colourful program of cultural presentations and activities would celebrate Harmony Day.
“The Byron Harmony Day team has been working hard for the past six months to bring the festival together with support from a host of cultural communities within the shire,” she said.
 Scores of performers and stallholders from more than 20 different ethnic backgrounds including Indigenous, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Irish, Nigerian, Japanese, Sudanese, French, Vietnamese, Indian, Celtic, Spanish, Mexican, German, Maori, Israeli, Islander, Lebanese and Latin American are currently rehearsing, preparing craft activities and food stalls in the lead up to Harmony Day.
The day will also feature two special guests – Barbara Shaw and Valerie Martin – from the Northern Territory who will speak on "Talking Up The Territory" to raise awareness of the issues involved in the Northern Territory intervention, such as the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Another feature of the day will be a special Sudanese feast being prepared by members of the Lismore Sudanese community as a fundraiser for the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal.
The feast will be available upstairs at the Harmony Café in the Southern Cross University room from 2-6pm.
In March 2008, the first Byron Harmony Festival was held involving more than 300 multicultural performers and volunteers and a turnout of about 2000 people enjoying 22 hours of live entertainment of all kinds.
The success of this festival day attracted the support of the NSW Government.
Byron Harmony Day is now a one-year project funded by the Area Assistance Scheme, NSW Department of Community Services and Byron Shire Council.
The project aims to create a multicultural infrastructure for the community.
Main activities include the creation of Byron’s first ever website of local multicultural communities; an on-line discussion group; Community Leaders Committee as well as the Multicultural Drop-In every Thursday at the Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre as well as support for culturally diverse groups to develop their own activities.
For further information go to or phone 66808079 or email

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