March 21 is a significant day in Australia's national calendar. Harmony Day is a day to celebrate the fact we're a uniquely diverse, yet harmonious, community and it coincides with the day set aside by the United Nations to focus on the elimination of racial discrimination.
Harmony Day is a day when we recognise the country we all call home was built by generations of people who come from all quarters of the globe in search of a better life.
Recently I was honoured to speak at Liverpool train station at an event hosted by Sydney Trains and organised by Ragina Naidu, ambassador for Walk for Respect, Multicultural Australia.
I often mention I'm a representative of the most culturally diverse electorate in the country. In fact, according to the ABS, nearly 50 per cent of the population of Fowler was born overseas.
Representing this diverse electorate has allowed me to see first-hand the wonderful contribution that members of various cultural groups make, not only to their respective communities but to our nation as a whole.
We clearly have benefited from the introduction of new tastes and cuisines to our community, as well as the vibrant and colourful customs and the many cultural events we all enjoy.
I'd like to praise the valuable work done in the community by the Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre and Core Community Services who ensure people are properly settled and are able to become part of the overall fabric of our diverse and modern Australia.
Over the years I've had the privilege of attending many vibrant celebrations, including Lunar New Year, the Indian Festival of Lights, the Chinese Moon Festival, just to name a few. These events give people the opportunity to display the sounds, tastes and colours of their heritage, while keeping in mind they're Australian.
There are many hard-working people in my diverse electorate and in Australia overall who strive daily to make this country the harmonious and inclusive society we all enjoy. We should bear in mind that unless we have Aboriginal heritage, we're all immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, in this great land.
CHRIS HAYES, Federal Fowler MP, Cabramatta
Thanks from police
Just a quick note to say thank you for assisting us once again with another appeal to try to locate Luis Fernandez who's been missing from Eastlakes since Christmas Day and is thought to possibly have visited your area in the South-West. As you know Strike Force Wanya has been set up to investigate his disappearance. We at Botany Bay PAC appreciate your support. Thank you for the stories you have run to help us find him
Inspector, Botany Bay Police
Whoops, another typo
Can you find the spelling mistake on the back page of the Bring it On! brochure which was delivered to everyone's letterbox? The council needs to proof-read!
TESS [surname supplied], Fairfield
Fairfield Council responds: As the Editor of the Champion would be well aware, while our publications are all proofread before publishing, errors can still occur in any publication.
SPOKESMAN, Fairfield Council
The editor of the Champion responds: Definitely, you're not worng on that score.
IAN HORNER, Editor, Champion
Sexism in sport
Taking down the action photo of Women's AFL player Tayla Harris shows a double standard. The long history of male domination of sport and sport media means there's still resistance to accepting women as elite athletes. Sport photography has long been a gender battleground. Sportswomen have tended to be shown in passive poses or with accompanying children and partners, while sportsmen have been shown in full, active flight. When Tayla Harris was shown this way, some disparaged her sporting ability and fetishised parts of her body. They can't accept that a woman can excel in sport and that action photos can be revealing because the body is in extremis. Some would object that male sporting bodies have also been subjected to jokes. But the gender dynamic is completely different. Unlike women men haven't had to fight for legitimacy in sport.
The digital world has intensified the politics of sport photography and commentary and Channel Seven's temporary take-down of the marvellous shot of Tayla Harris flying through the air was ill-advised. In the name of protecting her, they fed the trolls. They'll have to get used to the fact that women's sport is here to stay. We have the photographic evidence to prove it.