Northern Settlement Services and Hunter Valley Multicultural Group hold Harmony Day picnic on March 23

UPDATE, 23/3/18: This event has been cancelled due to the wet weather.

ALL WELCOME: Rose Oku, Parbati Costello, Jamuna Costello, Biljana Radovonic, Maria Fe Hardy and Zahida Jonker are looking forward to the Harmony Day picnic.

ALL WELCOME: Rose Oku, Parbati Costello, Jamuna Costello, Biljana Radovonic, Maria Fe Hardy and Zahida Jonker are looking forward to the Harmony Day picnic.

Did you know 6.2 percent of Cessnock City residents were born overseas?

According to the 2016 Census, 3446 of respondents from the Cessnock LGA were not born in Australia, and 1335 of them (or 2.4 percent of the LGA’s population) are from non-English speaking backgrounds.

More than a third came from the United Kingdom (1320), followed by New Zealand (519), with the Philippines (179), Germany (159) and India (97) rounding out the top five nations represented in Cessnock.

The community is invited to celebrate with many of these people who now call the Hunter region home at a Harmony Day picnic at Weston next week.

Harmony Day is is an annual event that celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, with the central message that 'everyone belongs', reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians.

Northern Settlement Services and Hunter Valley Multicultural Group will host the Harmony Day picnic at Maybury Peace Park (Chinaman’s Hollow) on Friday, March 23 from 10am to 2.30pm.

Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, China, Thailand and African nations will be among the cultures represented.

Participants will share stories and traditional food, dress in costume and perform cultural dances.

All are welcome to come along, bring a picnic blanket or chair, and a dish to share.

For more information, or to participate, call Rose on 0403 450 508 or email rose@nsservices.com.au.

First held in 1999, Harmony Day is officially celebrated on March 21, coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

It has been celebrated in Cessnock for several years, but last year’s event was washed out.

Take a look at the 2016 celebrations in the gallery above.

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