Harmony Week

Origin of Harmony Week

Harmony Week has its origins in ‘Harmony Day’, the United Nations’
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Harmony Day is on 21 March every year, the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa when police opened fire on unarmed protesters. Sixty-nine people were killed, including women and children, and hundreds of others were injured.

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.

Get involved!

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.

Below is a list of web resources that you may find of interest:

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

This resource has been developed to assist teachers in providing knowledge,
skills, understanding and appreciation of WA’s cultural diversity. The

  • teaches awareness of the importance of cultural and other forms of
  • 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

Website: www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au

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

The Refugee Council of Australia

Website: www.refugeecouncil.org.au

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

Website: www.humanrights.gov.au/education/voices

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

Website: www.media-awareness.ca/

(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

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/ihavearightto/

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

Website: edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/4h/4h05500.pdf

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

Website: www.ccentre.wa.gov.au
(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

Website: www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/allies_aliens/

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.

Foundation House


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.

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