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Celebration of culture at heart of USQ’s character

man in quadrangle
Engineering PhD student Majid Muttashar enjoying USQ's Harmony Day celebration.

For PhD student Majid Muttashar Harmony Day was a chance to wear traditional Iraqi dress and gather with friends from all different cultures at USQ Toowoomba (March 15).

“Today is a celebration of Australia, a place where people from all different countries can share their culture,” Mr Muttashar said.

“It is important to celebrate the link with your own culture with others and to show it does not matter if you wear different clothes, we are all the same.”

The University's quadrangle was alive with music and dancing as staff, students and members from the community shared cuisine from all over the world and enjoyed cultural performances.

Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of the land to those who have come from countries around the world.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services) and Chief Information Officer Professor Ken Udas welcomed hundreds of staff, students and members of the community to the celebration of cultural diversity and inclusivity.

“USQ proudly supports the values of Harmony Day and respects the wide variety of cultural identities, languages and beliefs in the community and the University,” Professor Udas said.

More than 200 international students commenced studies this semester at USQ with around 1500 currently enrolled. USQ staff members were born in 66 different countries, international students represented 94 countries and 101 different languages spoken.

“The values of Harmony Day are in the heart of USQ’s charter and character and I thank everyone for sharing in the celebrations,” Professor Udas said.

The event featured stalls and activities with representation from places such as Japan, Nepal, Iraq, India, China, Korea, Cambodia, Chad, Columbia, Bangladesh and the Philippines to name a few.

Harmony Day will be celebrated at USQ Springfield (March 21) and USQ Ipswich (March 22) next week.

For more information about multiculturalism at USQ visit www.usq.edu.au/multicultural.