Organisers of the Harmony Day event at the Harwood Hotel this Sunday are ready to build upon the success of last year’s celebration.
Kathleen Werry, public officer for the Biirrinda and Harwood Island Community Committee, which is organising the event, said two of the committee’s “wonderful members went prize-hunting around Maclean and were absolutely blown away by everyone’s generosity”.
“We now have hundreds of dollars worth of prizes, including some spectacular local artwork, so we’re encouraging everyone to come along and buy tickets on the day for a chance to win,” she said.
The day’s official program commences at 10am, with speakers including Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, the valley’s mayor, Jim Simmons, Macquarie University lecturers and a Native Title specialist.
But it’s Harmony Day’s message – everyone belongs – that is the real focus.
“We have all sorts of delicious food, including food from the Marshall Islands, South America, Ireland, Italy and India, as well as a sausage sizzle,” Ms Werry said.
“We’re also hoping to have refugee speakers like last year.
“And there will be dancing and music from a variety of cultures, including Filipino dancers, the local ukulele group and the Maclean and District Pipe Band.
“There will be face painting and workshops for the kids, including language and music workshops, and displays done by the local primary schools.
“Yaegl elder Elizabeth Smith has organised local choirs and a didgeridoo player, and Jackie the poet will also be performing.
“We’ll also have a display of beautiful local artwork [including works by Frances Belle Parker].”
Local performers are donating their services to make the day one to remember, starting at 10 am till late:
Welcome to Country; didgeridoo player Lewis Walker; Annie & Dave Neville – Celtic musicians; Ryan Enns with schools performing choir, soloists; Scottish dancers; ukulele workshop for kids; Yamba Ukes performance; Jackie Graham, a wordsmith; Jackie Kempnich & Jayc Salter acoustic duo; Piper Ramsay, solo singer; Grace Hickey & The Honey Drops; Lionel & Perry acoustic duo; Willy Hona & friends; Hillary’s Trumpet; Sea of Stones; and, Trent Rogers & the Repton County Killers.
Ms Werry said that money raised from the raffles will help pay expenses for the event.
“We’re a not-for-profit and so the event has been put on from a combination of generosity from locals, a small grant from the council and money from our own pockets,” she said.
“Any leftover money will go towards other local not-for-profit endeavours.”