International Harmony Day Celebration
Harman Foundation celebrates Cultural Diversity and Harmony in the Community
Harman Foundation organised a Community Picnic and Fun Day on Sunday 26th March 2017 at the Glenwood Lake Park, Glenwood, to celebrate International Harmony Day in recognition of Australia’s cultural diversity with a universal message about tolerance, inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. About 500 men, women and children of various ethnicities joined the fun-filled and joyous activities in a common spirit of togetherness on this splendid, sunny day. The sun had returned after a couple of weeks of daily rain.
Harman Foundation is a charitable not-for-profit organisation which aims to alleviate human suffering in the global community resulting from grief caused by events such as death and trauma, separation, incarceration, sickness and disabilities, marital breakdown, suicidal thoughts, poverty and other unforeseen events.
Harman Foundation provides many services to the community members who are affected by grief and loss. Some of these include supporting families who are facing breakups, chaplaincy services in hospitals and prisons, monthly support group meetings chaired by psychologists, meals to the homeless, financial and accommodation support. A 24 hour helpline 1800 11 66 75 is available for telephone support and advice to individuals and families. The Foundation also runs seminars on mental health and physical wellbeing for women, seniors, children and are supported by various government bodies and professionals.
Free food was on offer to everyone who attended together with Indian mithai and lollies, chocolates and sweets for the children. All together 1000 pack of lunch boxes were handed over plus lots of cake, sweets and fruit. Plenty of bottle of water and soft drinks to go with the food were available free of cost.
The ever vibrant and cheery Neeru Singh was the MC for the event. The event started at 12 pm with Agam singing the Australian National Anthem followed by Gurbani Shabd ‘Deh Shiva Var Mohey Ehai’ by Manpreet Kaur and her group. Dolly of Art of Living demonstrated and involved the audience in a session of Chair Yoga. This was followed by another Yoga session by Amit Sharma of Dhamma Yoga. Laura Dabit of Go4Fun, a NSW government initiative, outlined their 10 week, once a week (2 hours) interactive program that helps kids and their families adopt a long-lasting attitude towards food and exercise.
This was followed by a short speech by Kevin Conolly, MP for Riverstone, who commended the charitable work being done by Harman Foundation (HF) for the community. Councillor Moninder Singh also praised the work done by HF who had also organised the Vigil held at Glenwood recently in memory of the departed soul of a victim of domestic violence. He stated that such work is important in Blacktown LGA which is Australia’s most diverse community with people from 177 countries speaking 169 different languages. Councillor Kathie Collins also expressed her surprise to see HF reach such heights in a short span of 3 years of its set up.
The CEO and Executive Director of Harman Foundation, Maninder Singh outlined the activities of HF. Director, Harinder Kaur expressed her thanks to the much loved volunteers and audience present. Both of them are founding members of HF which they set up in memory of their loving son, Harman.
Chief Inspector Bob Fitzgerald, the Local Area Commander of Quakers Hill, NSW Police, addressed the audience and assured the safety of the community. Inspector Rob Stykes was also on hand to meet and greet the audience and visited the stalls.
Tim Wall and Randeep Bilkhu of Inclusive Music Workshops demonstrated by playing music with various string instruments and invited the audience to join their workshops.
Throughout the day, children enjoyed activities like jumping castle, face painting, henna tattooing, and colouring competitions. Winners were awarded prizes. Turban tying training was provided by Turbans Academy Australia and free turbans were distributed to the community. A Raffle draw was held and prizes were distributed.
Musical chairs were enjoyed by the senior members of the community.
The renowned DJ Dimple (from Desi Entertainments) provided free music service. Outdoor marquees and information stalls were set up by Go4Fun, Sydwest Multicultural Services, Department of Justice, Waratah Real Estate and Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District. Simran provided free photography services. Mrs and Mr Pooni, Kulwant Kaur,Amy,Sarbjit,Amandip, Gurpeet, Kirat, Karan , Jagwinder Kaur, Jaswinder Chaggar, Jaspreet , Neetu, Amarjot Randwava, Ragina, Ozgar, Amar singh and many more put in so much hard work to make this happen.
Harman Foundation thanked the sponsors and media partners:
- Australian Sikh Association, Glenwood for the food for the event
- CMRC (Community Migrant Resource Centre), Parramatta
- NSW Health – Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
- NSW Health – Western District Local Health District
- Sponsors: Golden Grain Mills, Khalsa Restaurant, Gurmeet kaur’s healthy way of life.