Why We’re Not Celebrating Harmony Week

Mar 23, 2021 • #uncategorised 

This year we decided against joining businesses across Australia hosting morning teas and promoting inclusion through beautifully made Canva posters (like we normally would). Instead, we’re focusing on what we can do to address the real reason for the day, being an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Harmony Week…is less about addressing the reality of racism and more about morning teas and hashtags to spread the message that “everyone belongs”. There is a wide gulf, however, between a day that calls for harmony and a day that calls for an end to racism, just as there is between people who haven’t experienced racism and those who must endure it.

Saimi Jeong Tweet

A good start is providing training so we can learn more about racism, how it presents in Australia and how we can act to call it out when we see it, whether it’s in professional or personal aspects of our lives. Having never had issues within our organisation, it’s easy to say we don’t need to but if every business, school or government agency claims they don’t have issues when we know 1 in 5 Australians have experienced racism in the last 12 months, perhaps we are not doing enough to recognise it. It has been said that Australia has a culture of denial when it comes to racism. Is it likely that a significant proportion of decision makers “having never experienced racism, know only the fear of being accused of racism, and some see the accusation as the greater threat”? Source

It’s clear we all need to do far more, and it’s surprisingly difficult to find educational materials for adults specific to Australia. The government has some resources on their It.Stops.With.Me Campaign website however, interestingly the business resources focus on social media campaign posters, with only links to external rabbit warrens if looking for learning content. The handful of TED Talks listed are certainly worth the watch, but the only real educational materials are designed for school aged children, years 6-10.

So, we’re collecting and creating our own content, starting with the following learning objectives for internal training:

  • Understanding racism
    1. Understanding white privilege
    2. Combating institutional racism
    3. Identifying and addressing unconscious bias
    4. Consequences of having a single story of a culture
    5. Key Statistics
  • Tools for combating everyday racism
  • Understanding the challenges unique to First Nations Australians

For now, the best resources we have found as a base are below. Sharing in case you find them a good spring board for building your own personal or business learning pathway, as we move with intention towards ending racism.


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reminda respectfully acknowledges the Darug and Guringai peoples, the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.