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Mary, Farha and Dimo with Ayinaddis Yirgu and Mayom Tulba.
b. h. i. e. c. student dancers star in day of understanding

by Lea Isles

The thought of living in harmony is what brings many refugees to Australia.
For Mayom Tulba, who came to Australia from Sudan in Africa, Harmony Day means two things.

"It gives me a sense of where I came from - a country with war - and now I have come to a different place that has harmony," Mr Tulba said. "I can feel safe here and that is a great thing to me."

Mr Tulba can also relate to the direct meaning behind Harmony Day, understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
Harmony Day is this Sunday, the same day as the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Mr Tulba works with Anglicare as a community settlement worker with Sudanese people who have recently arrived in Australia.

"I work with new arrivals and inform them of the services provided in Australia and provide referrals,"
he said. "I feel I am helping myself and doing something for the community."


Mr Tulba was among more than 200 guests at last week's African Communities Settling in NSW information day at the Anglicare centre at Cabramatta.
Representatives from educational and migrant services and members of the community were invited to attend the event, which included guest speakers on a range of topics.

"There will be a lot of refugees from Africa coming here in the next few months and Australia is not used to the African culture,"
event co-ordinator Elizabeth Pickering said. "There are a lot of issues about education, as well as health and social issues."

Ms Pickering works with school-aged childen from many backgrounds at the Cabramatta Intensive English Centre, which is planning various activities for Harmony Day.

"We have students of many different nationalities and we try to promote harmony in the school by recognising our differences, as well as the things we share in common," Ms Pickering said. "On Harmony Day we will have lessons about discriminattion and bullying and we will invite religious leaders from all the different faiths to a morning tea."

Several schools in the area will also hold Harmony Day celebrations.