- Is cultural diversity a threat to the Australian way of life?
- Students lead the discussion about multiculturalism in WA
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, more than 300 high school students from across Perth will today explore the role of cultural diversity in Australia, at the annual Harmony Week debate, hosted by the Office of Multicultural Interests at the Subiaco Arts Centre.
This year's topic, 'Is cultural diversity a threat to the Australian way of life?', will be debated by two teams of WA university students before being discussed by the high school audience who will informally vote for the winning team. A panel of judges from academia will provide a formal vote on the outcome.
The debate is being held as a part of the State-wide Harmony Week and is an opportunity for students to talk about issues of integration, belonging and multiculturalism with their peers in an open and constructive environment.
Schools attending the debate are:
- Ashdale Secondary College;
- Ballajura Community College;
- Churchlands Senior High School;
- Iona Presentation College;
- Melville Senior High School;
- Mount Lawley Senior High School;
- Shenton College; and
- St Stephen's School.
The United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21 on the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, when police fired on a peaceful demonstration against apartheid 'pass laws' in South Africa in 1960.
March 21 marks the final day of Harmony Week, and is reserved as a day of commemoration and reflection. Harmony Week gives everyone an opportunity to explore and appreciate Western Australia's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity.
For more information about Harmony Week, visit http://www.omi.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia:
"The Harmony Week debate will allow young Western Australians to explore issues relating to multiculturalism and what it means for the Australian identity.
"It is important that these students, future leaders of WA, have an opportunity to participate in an open and honest discussion with their peers to help develop their ideas and opinions, so they can help shape our community."
Minister's office - 6552 5600