Diversity adds value to our community

The Port Lincoln Times’ four-week Harmony Day campaign wraps up today with another fascinating story of how people from other cultures have added to the fabric of life in Port Lincoln.

Harmony Day on March 21 coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and celebrates the theme ‘everyone belongs’.

Over the past four weeks we have heard from just three of the many different cultures represented in our city.

From the Croatian migrants who have played such a significant role in the city’s fishing industry in particular to more recent arrivals like Baljit Kaur and her family, three local people have generously shared their stories of why they came to Australia, how they came to live in Port Lincoln and the welcome they received from the local community.

Mrs Kaur, pictured, has only been in Port Lincoln for four months – a very short time compared to the subject of our first profile, Matea Ricov, who has built a life in Port Lincoln after leaving Croatia in the 1950s.

But wherever they came from and however long they have been here a common theme among the profiles has been the gratitude for the opportunities available to them in Australia.

That gratitude should go both ways when we look at what multiculturalism has brought to Port Lincoln in terms of skills and innovation, traditions, cuisine and broadening people’s views of the world.

The article on page 3 of today’s paper highlights the South Australian Migration Museum’s ‘Croatians in South Australia: Community and Identity’ exhibition opened last week, which is a showcase of the community’s contribution to the state.

The exhibition, which runs until August, looks at how Croatians have created networks of friendship and solidarity, expressed their culture and language, and explored volunteering and civic action in their new South Australian home.

This month’s Harmony Day-themed stories barely scratched the surface of the wide variety of people from different cultural backgrounds who call Port Lincoln and its surrounding communities home.

There are plenty more stories out there to be told and hopefully we can continue to share them through the Port Lincoln Times because our cultural diversity is not something we should celebrate for just one day or one month of the year.