In a special day full of dancing, singing, food, sport and games, the University of Southern Queensland celebrated Harmony Day on Wednesday, March 16, and paid homage to their diverse and multicultural students and staff. Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from countries around the world.
“USQ proudly supports the values of Harmony Day and respects the wide variety of cultural identities, languages and beliefs in the community and the University,” Professor Ken Udas said. “Wide” is indeed a fitting description, as the university has over 400 new international students and a combined total of students and staff speaking 101 different languages.
Rajab Abousnina with his son Al-bara.
William Conwell, Paul Antonio, Dhieu Piok, Professor Talal Yusaf and Julie McDougall.
Lila Prasai, Sabita Sharma, Chiza Neupane, Siju Adhikan and Barsha Adhikan.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio and Multicultural Affairs Queensland Director Julie McDougall spoke of this year’s theme of ‘Our Diversity is our Strength’ in their addresses. “The Australian story and character is one of transformation, it is one of perseverance, it is of reinvention, it is of acceptance and above all it is a healthy dose of challenging the status quo,” Cr Antonio said. “Let’s continue to celebrate our diversity and have a very happy and meaningful Harmony Day.”
Words by Maddie Vlismas
Images supplied by University of Southern Queensland Photography