Harmony Week 2024 – Everyone Belongs

‘Harmony Week is the celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds.It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.​

(Harmony.gov.au)

Communities worldwide come together to celebrate diversity and promote the theme ‘Everyone Belongs’ during Harmony Week 2024. This year’s theme echoes the principles outlined in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) V2.0, and the importance of creating environments that encapsulate the spirit of togetherness and belonging. 

Nevertheless, with the theme ‘Everyone Belongs’, as well as celebrating we may also be questioning-

Is everyone feeling this? Who is and/or isn’t feeling this? Why/Why not? How are we doing this/ not doing this? And, What approaches are we using to create a sense of belonging for everyone?

Harmony Week 2024 - Everyone Belongs

Perhaps here we can look to the Early Years Learning Framework V2.0 with an enhanced focus on cultural competence and respectful relationships. Using the EYLF V2.0 as a guide to support respecting and embracing diversity, we can also challenge bias, prejudice, and discriminatory actions and ways of knowing and being. In addition, consider that through meaningful interactions, collaborative learning experiences, and culturally responsive practices, early childhood educators can play a pivotal role in promoting harmony and understanding.

‘Educators who are culturally responsive, respect multiple cultural ways of knowing, doing and being and celebrate the benefits of diversity’

(The Early Years Learning Framework, V2.0, 2022, p 23)

By critically reflecting on the principles of “Everyone Belongs” and embracing the ethos of the Early Years Learning Framework V2.0, we can take a significant step towards building inclusive communities where every individual’s and group’s unique identity/ies are celebrated and cherished. 

Reconsider the possibilities of Harmony Week 2024 as a reminder that diversity enriches collective experience and strengthens community, and consider Harmony Week as being every day and every moment- in celebration and in challenge. 

Furthermore, consider Harmony week as an opportunity, time, and space, to question and think about creating and sustaining anti-bias environments. 

‘Creating anti-bias environments is a philosophical, physical practice of thinking and doing, being and becoming, including and belonging. It involves continually opening up places and spaces for listening and learning in diverse and different ways. Creating anti-bias environments entails critical curriculum decision making based on rethinking, reshaping, and reconfiguring the relationships, relationality and reflective practices that are central to inclusive early childhood education’.

(The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood, 4th Edition, 2020, ‘Creating Anti-Bias Environments: Reconfiguring Relations with Places’, Scarlet, R, Giamminuti, S, & Fargher, D; p, 38)

As we embark on Harmony Week 2024, let’s channel the teachings of EYLF V2.0 and actively contribute to building a world where everyone truly belongs, laying the groundwork for a future that celebrates unity in diversity.

Useful Resources

Visit The Inclusion Room to learn more about our Courses, Webinars and Digital Books: https://learning.theinclusionroom.com.au/

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