Individuals from more than 200 different countries who live, work and study in Western Australia will come together this Saturday to celebrate the launch of Harmony Week 2008.
Multicultural Interests and Citizenship Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich will officially launch Harmony Week at the International Folk Fest, presented by the Australian Asian Association (AAA).
Harmony Week, which runs from March 15 to 21, promotes cultural diversity and encourages all Western Australians to participate in society, respect one another and take a stand against racism.
More than 300 performers from seven continents will light up the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre for the International Folk Fest with a combination of modern and traditional cultural music, song and dance.
“The talent which is contained in our State is astounding,” Ms Ravlich said.
“WA is the country’s most culturally diverse State and the indigenous, immigrant and refugee populations contribute significantly towards its economy and identity.
“For me, that’s what Harmony Week is all about; valuing the skills, knowledge and perspective that cultural diversity brings to WA, and ensuring that everyone in our society is free from racism and discrimination.”
The International Folk Festival starts at 5.30pm this evening.
Ms Ravlich will also be attending the Beauty of Africa Ball, a fundraising evening for the Street Kids Training and Education Centre in Tanzania.
“The money raised will support learning and skills initiatives, which will enable Tanzanian street children to build healthy and productive lives for themselves,” the Minister said.
Ambassador to Nelson Mandela’s ‘46664 Foundation’, Mr Vusi Mahlasela, will also speak at the ball.
The foundation works to combat the HIV AIDS epidemic in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela’s inmate number was 46664 when he was imprisoned on Robben Island off Cape Town, South Africa in 1964.
Mr Mahlasela is donating a book for auction which has been personally signed by Nelson Mandela. It is entitled ‘Mandela: The Official Portrait’.
The event, organised by the not-for-profit WA-based African Education Society, will be held at 6.15pm this evening.
Mr Mahlasela, a talented musician who performed at Nelson Mandela’s Presidential inauguration in 1994, will also perform at this weekend’s Blues and Roots Festival.
· More than half a million Western Australians, or just over a quarter of the population were born overseas.
· People from more than 200 different countries live, work and study in WA.
· Residents speak as many as 270 languages and identify with more than 100 religious faiths.
More information is available at: http://www.multicultural.wa.gov.au
Minister's office - 9213 6800