Harmony Day a “Howard-era cover-up” of Australian racism

The Government marked Harmony Day yesterday, but a former senior public servant said the day was a “Howard-era cover-up” of racism in Australia.

 Michael Quall said that when the Howard Government was elected in 1996, Harmony Day replaced a planned campaign of awareness about Australian racism. Mr Quall said the Living in Harmony campaign, now the Diverse Australia Program, was created after the then Immigration Minister, Mr Ruddock, commissioned research showing that many Australians would feel uncomfortable if they were confronted with the reality of racism here.

The official Harmony Day website does not mention yesterday was also the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in South Africa, where 69 anti-apartheid protesters were killed.

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