PREMIER TO LEAD HARMONY WALK TO CELEBRATE VICTORIA'S MULTICULTURALISM
The Premier John Brumby today announced that the Victorian Government would lead a Harmony Walk to reaffirm to the world Victoria’s strong support for multiculturalism.
Mr Brumby said the Sunday, July 12 Harmony Walk would bring together Victorian communities to recognise and celebrate the enormous contribution of ethnic, cultural and religious communities to the state.
“Victoria is the most multicultural, tolerant state in Australia and is recognised as a harmonious cultural centre, rivalling any of the multicultural centres of the world,” Mr Brumby said.
“Successive waves of immigration from Asia, from Europe, from Africa, from the Pacific – continue to make our state a better place – and the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
“It is Victoria’s tolerance and commitment to multiculturalism that has attracted more and more people from across the world to call this state home.
“The Harmony Walk will give Victorians an opportunity to come together to celebrate our rich multiculturalism – and to stand up and reaffirm our state’s tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism.”
Mr Brumby said in 2007-08 Victoria attracted 37.4 per cent of business migrants from overseas and 26.9 per cent of all skilled migrants.
“Victorians come from more than 230 nations, speak 180 languages, and follow more than 116 religions and we want to see everyone come together for the inaugural Harmony Walk,” he said.
“We are a community built on the understanding that while we come from different races, follow many faiths and cultures – we are all equal.
“That’s why recent isolated incidents of racially motivated crime have been so distressing and we condemn racially motivated crimes in the strongest possible terms.
“Attacking a fellow Victorian – be they an international student or a father going to the aid of a stranger in the street is anathema to the values and principles that make our state one of the world’s most successful multicultural communities and must not be tolerated.
“This was the message I relayed to the High Commissioner of India Sujathm Singh and Consul General of India Anita Nayar last week.
“We must not let the actions of a very small minority undermine one of the very tenets of our state. I encourage all Victorians to stand-up now to reaffirm that our tolerance and our multiculturalism are important to all Victorians by participating in next month’s Harmony Walk.”
The Harmony Walk will begin at Carlton Gardens at 1.00pm on Sunday July 12 and proceed through Melbourne’s central business district to Federation Square.
Click here for details of the event and route map