Embracing diversity this #AustraliaDay

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Along with the many traditions each of us have to mark #AustraliaDay, it’s also a great time to reflect on the values and social ideals we share as a nation, and to embrace the rich cultural tapestry Australia represents.

For the third consecutive year, @TwitterAU has partnered with the National Australia Day Council (NADC) (@OzDay) and National Museum of Australia (@NMA) to capture a poignant digital snapshot of #AustraliaDay in a time capsule filled with Tweets. These photos reflect our multicultural identity and demonstrate how traditional #AustraliaDay festivities are melded with new. This is beautifully captured in the summary reel the @NMA curated for #AustraliaDay 2015, and we expect to see even more variety captured in 2016 celebrations.

While we Aussies may not always agree, the ideals we share of social inclusion and tolerance shine through much more brightly than hatred and division. Research has shown that positivity is shared more widely online than negativity, and we have seen this time and time again through inspiring social movements that have arisen in response to tragic events.

In his #Australia Your Way address, NADC Chair @BenRobertsSmith reminded us that diversity is critical to the success of every nation and that #AustraliaDay serves as an important reminder of what a truly lucky nation we are.

And no story could be more harrowing or moving than that of Deng Adut. In his #AustraliaDay address, he chronicled his journey from wounded child soldier in the Sudan, to refugee in Australia, to how he overcame illiteracy and homelessness to earn his law degree and serve as a successful lawyer and social justice advocate for others.

He reminds us that, “Freedom from fear is about acceptance of our common identity…[and that] we had better take care to keep it.”

In this spirit,@TwitterAU is pleased to have worked with a range of partners in support of initiatives to promote these ideals throughout the broader community. Last #AustraliaDay, Twitter pledged to join the Racism #stopswithme campaign and other initiatives to encourage a “fair go” for all Australians.

This has included multiple national training sessions to NGOs and multicultural groups across Australia, teaching them how to use Twitter more effectively to promote tolerance, diversity and understanding and promote positive, life-affirming “alternative messages” to counter negative narratives.

We continue to partner with fantastic NGOs such as @highresolves to create a new generation of global citizens that are committed to positive social action in their local and global communities.

Twitter is proud to be one of the most diverse social media services on the planet. This diversity is evident when we see the myriad of voices, photos and videos this #AustraliaDay that will be preserved for posterity at the @NMA. So, remember to Tweet all your best photos, videos and sentiments to #AustraliaDay and our fun and furry custom emoji for 2016 will appear.

In case you’re wondering, the koala’s name is Barry (overwhelmingly chosen by Australian Twitter users).

But, of course, as is Australian tradition, he can fondly be referred to as Bazza or Baz. Happy #AustraliaDay!