21 March 2017

The University of Queensland’s Forgan Smith building will be bathed in orange tonight as part of Lights Up, a project celebrating Harmony Day.

Harmony Day is an annual celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity and achievements.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs Zed Seselja said it was great to see iconic structures once again supporting the day.

“Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations, and also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect,” Mr Seselia said.

UQ Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Associate Director Dr Dee Gibbon said the University was an innovative, inclusive and diverse organisation where staff and students had exceptional opportunities to create change in the world.

“Cultural and linguistic diversity enables us to operate more effectively across a wider range of local, national and international communities and networks,” Dr Gibbon said.

“A diverse and inclusive environment enables students and staff to bring their ‘best and true self’ to UQ.

“We are delighted to join other landmarks in celebrating Harmony Day, including Brisbane’s Treasury Casino, the Story Bridge and Toowoomba’s Victoria Street Bridge.

“The UQ community is finding their own ways to celebrate as well.

“For example, the human resources team comes together by inviting colleagues to bring a dish from their country of origin or cultural background; it is always amazing to see the wide range of diversity in the food that is shared.

“In addition, there are numerous policies, programs and activities that directly support diversity and inclusion at the university,” Dr Gibbon said.

The day of celebration is a Commonwealth Government initiative that began in 1999, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial discrimination.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au or 3365 1130.