Mayor Celebrates Harmony Day 2013

Published on 27 March 2013

Mayor celebrates Harmony Day

Harmony Day is an opportunity to celebrate the impressive cultural diversity of Australia.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Deli Women and Children’s Centre, in particular I acknowledge Vicky Johnson.

For more than thirty years the Deli has been working with women, children and families in the Botany Bay community to help keep members of our community safe. I have enormous respect for the work the Deli undertakes each day to protect at risk women and children from domestic violence.

It is important that women and children who experience domestic violence receive the support they need to keep them safe. However, as is so often the case, language can be a considerable barrier for women that need support.

That is why it is essential that support services such as those offered by the Deli cater for non-English speaking members of our community.

I would like to commend the great work of the deli in working women throughout the City of Botany Bay and for organising the event today in recognition of Harmony Day.

According to the 2011 Census more than 30% of Australians were born outside of Australia and approximately 20% speak a language other than English at home.

The City of Botany Bay has been a benefactor of this great cultural diversity.

Since the early days of our community in the late 19th Century we have benefited from successive waves in new Australian Settlement.

Residents of Botany Bay are almost twice as likely as the national average to have parents born overseas.

The City of Botany Bay has a long standing connection to the French Language and French Culture.

In 1788 a French expedition lead Laperouse, arrived in Botany Bay, only three weeks after the founding of the Port Jackson Colony of New South Wales. While in Botany the ships resupplied and buried their colleague and naturalist Fr Claude-Francois Joseph Receveur, who was also a Franciscan Priest. As a result of these circumstances Botany Bay became the site of the first Catholic Mass to be performed on the Australian Continent.

In continuing the French influence in our area - - today we will see a performance by the International French School of Sydney Lycee Condorcet.

Today we celebrate the importance of cultural harmony as well as the contribution of generations of migrants have made to our nation. 

We may not all be fortunate enough to experience domestic harmony throughout our lives but it is a strong comfort to know that the Deli is here to makes lives happy, healthy, safe and resilient.

I wish everyone a happy and joyful Harmony Day.