Should Australia Change The Date Of Harmony Day?

The Australian government has been criticised for continuing to celebrate Harmony Day on March 21st, with claims it hinders the country’s efforts to research systemic racism.

LiSTNR investigative reporter Claudianna Blanco told The Briefing, “This celebration is out of step with what the rest of the world marks on March twenty-first, which is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”.

Claudianna Blanco explains why the day is so controversial on today’s episode of The Briefing:

The day came about as a commemoration of a massacre, when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, 1960, opened fire and killed 69 black people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid.

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Harmony Day was introduced in 1999 by then Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, following the 1998 government-commissioned Eureka Report.

“The way that harmony day and harmony week was framed for so long has meant that we have lost a full generation of research into racism, of research into discrimination,” Blanco said.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles has decided to turn Harmony Day into Harmony Week in light of controversies.

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