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21st March is a significant day in Australia’s national calendar, Harmony Day.
It is a day when we celebrate the fact that we are a uniquely diverse, yet harmonious community and coincides with the day set aside by the United Nations to focus on the elimination of racial discrimination.
Harmony Day is a day when we recognise that the country we all call home was built by generations of people who come from all quarters of the globe in search of a better life.
Recently I was honoured to speak at Liverpool Railway Station at an event hosted by Sydney Trains and organised by Ragina Naidu, Ambassador, Walk for Respect, Multicultural Australia.
I often mention that I am a representative of the most culturally diverse electorate in the country.
In fact, according to the ABS, nearly 50 percent of the population of Fowler were born overseas.
Representing this diverse electorate has allowed me to see, first hand, the wonderful contribution that members of various cultural groups make not only to their respective communities, but to our nation as a whole.
We clearly have benefited from the introduction of new tastes and cuisines available in our community, as well as the vibrant and colourful customs and the many cultural events that we all join in.
I would like to praise the valuable work that the Western Sydney MRC and CORE Community Services do in our community to ensure people are properly settled and able to become part of the overall fabric of our diverse and modern Australia.
Over the years I have had the privilege of attending a number of vibrant celebrations including Lunar New Year, the Indian Festival of Lights, the Chinese Moon Festival, just to name a few.
These events give people the opportunity to put on display the sound, taste and colour of their heritage, while keeping in mind, they are Australian.
There are many hard working people in my diverse electorate and in Australia overall who are striving every day, to make this country a harmonious and inclusive society that we all enjoy.
We should bear in mind that unless we have Aboriginal heritage, we are all immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, in this great land, Australia.