For a stronger Mandurah, Harmony Week must be year-round

This week we not only celebrate Harmony Week, but we will formally welcome another 45 new residents to the Mandurah community with a citizenship ceremony hosted from the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

These citizens take an oath or a pledge of loyalty to Australia and its people. As they do this, particularly during Harmony Week, I am reminded that we all need to reflect, take stock and challenge ourselves with the question - are we making the same commitment?

Mandurah's cultural diversity is often celebrated as one of our greatest assets, and I realise a majority of our community are generous and embracing of the many people of different nationalities calling our community home.

However, I am hearing more and more stories of domestic violence and abuse being experienced by migrant women living in Mandurah. Domestic violence in our community is devastating and is something we simply cannot accept.

Similarly, it would be wonderful to believe that racism is a thing of the past - but unfortunately, we all too aware of the many incidents where Australian citizens who hail from different nations around the world are targeted based purely on their differences.

During Harmony Week, and every other week of the year, I urge our community to embrace our cultural diversity. Appreciate that with so many cultures across our city, our community becomes an eclectic mecca, our events and activations enjoy a global perspective and when we consider some of the major projects for Mandurah, and seek advice from our residents - the feedback is received from residents from a diverse range of backgrounds, bringing their own unique perspective to the table.

May we all show generosity of spirit and acceptance of our fellow residents, to the benefit of Mandurah, now and in the future.

  • Rhys Williams is the mayor of Mandurah.