From Monday 20 March to Sunday 26 March, we celebrate Harmony Week. The week is all about inclusiveness, respect and belonging, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.
It is well known that Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. We are an immigration nation. Almost half of our current population was either born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas.
More importantly, Australia is also one of the successful multicultural countries which we can be all proud of. This success can be attributed to our common values and commitment to freedom, security, and prosperity. Though we come from every culture, every race, every faith, every nation, we are united by these core Australian values.
Across our six centres, we have members and staff from all walks of life. We work all through the year to promote social harmony and implement strategies to make everyone feel welcome as we connect the local community to leisure, health and fitness.
To celebrate the week and show our support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia, we asked some of our staff about their background and what Harmony Week means to them.
Meet Jiaqi, born in China he came to Australia when he was 18 and is currently a lifeguard at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre
For me Harmony Week means people from different areas, region and countries work and live together with respect and accept each other’s culture and background. It is about sharing and helping each other with love and kindness.
I am so lucky I came to Australian and joined one of the most harmonious teams at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre. It’s truly my pleasure to work with so many people from different background who look after each other like brothers and sisters.
This is Damla, she has a proud Turkish background and works as a customer service officer based in Gunyama Park.
My mums' parents were born in Turkey and came to Australia in the 1970’s. They were drawn to Australia because of the belief that no matter where you came from, everyone has the same opportunities for success.
I believe this is more relevant today than ever – especially during Harmony Week.
I've been at Belgravia Leisure for over a year and have gained so much knowledge and experience from working with people from many different cultural and diverse backgrounds.
To me, Harmony Week means we acknowledge and understand that people come from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. By accepting people from all walks of life, this has made me a better and more empathetic person.
Every day I am always looking for ways to encourage harmony so I can build a stronger connection with our members and guests and better serve their needs.