Harmony Week is about coming together to celebrate the cultural diversity in Australia and to spread a message of inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
With around 45 per cent of Australians born overseas or with at least one parent who was, Harmony Week has always been a popular way for workplaces to showcase and acknowledge their cultural diversity.
The horticulture industry in Australia, where Fair Farms is positioned, is a significant employer for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) people.
CALD employees have typically been highly represented in the horticulture industry, making up 44% of employees in the vegetable growing industry and 26% of all employees represented in fruit and nut growing sectors in 2016 according to ABARES.
Their Snapshot of Australian Agriculture from March 2023 estimated there were 300,000 residential workers in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector industries in Australia of November 2022.
Further to this, around 35,000 of the 143,000 Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) in Australia were estimated to be employed within the horticulture sector pre-covid-19.
With WHM numbers returned to almost 90% of their pre-covid levels by January this year and the addition of some 35,000 Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) workers in the country, the importance of recognising and celebrating the cultural diversity within the horticulture workplace is as significant as ever.
Research indicates that businesses perform well when employees feel included, and their workplace is strongly committed to supporting diversity.
Celebrating Harmony Week can take any form you wish – big or small, simple or challenging.
A celebration or recognition can be a simple multicultural morning tea or a guest speaker at an all-staff meeting.
It creates an opportunity to think, talk about and recognise how our differences and our similarities make our workplace stronger.