The Hunter Interfaith Network (THIN) is an initiative of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Its members represent the Catholic, Uniting and Anglican Churches as well as Islam, Judaism and the Baha’i faith. THIN invites people of other religions to attend its meetings and activities as observers.
I have been associated with Harmony Day since it was established by the Australian Government in 1999 to celebrate our cultural diversity and I feel that this Network really has the capacity and the message to ‘paint the Hunter orange’.
Why orange? Because the orange bow is the symbol of Harmony Day. The Harmony Day theme for 2018 is Everyone Belongs.
Why 21 March? The Australian Government chose this day to celebrate our cultural diversity because it coincides with the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
“Have a Happy Harmony Day” is far easier to say than “Have a Happy United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”!
Harmony Day has long been a successful community celebration and since 1999 more than 70,000 events and activities have been held across Australia. The University of Newcastle celebrates every year, sometimes holding a Harmony Week festival including a Feast of Harmony with delicious meals prepared by students from many faiths and nations.
Its success is understandable because it falls on the northern spring and the southern autumn equinox which has long been a time of religious and cultural balance and harmony. Our Indigenous people, as well as Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, celebrate major festivals at this time.
In the Hunter, THIN will welcome all to join in silent contemplation for peace and harmony in Civic Park on Wednesday 21 March at 5.30 pm.
Happy Harmony Day everyone!
- To build understanding, good will and a sense of community with our own respective faiths and between people of different faiths
- To explore and learn about each other’s and our faith traditions
- To share our knowledge and insights with each other
- To work together and to celebrate together
- To support each other in times of difficulty.