Celebrating Diversity at the 2012 Peace Festival Sun 23 September 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development The Labor Member for Franklin, David O'Byrne, today joined Tasmanians from many walks of life to celebrate peace and diversity in the community. Mr O'Byrne officially launched the 2012 Peace Festival at Kingston Beach Esplanade. "We're lucky to live in one of the most peaceful communities in Australia. In turn, Australia is one of the most peaceful countries in the world," Mr O'Byrne said. "That doesn't happen by accident. It's partly because of the economic and educational opportunities we're fortunate to enjoy. "But it's also because most in our community recognise the importance of understanding, the strength of unity, and the destructiveness of discrimination. "Festivals like this help strengthen the connection between people of different cultures. And that benefits all Tasmanians," he said. 11 per cent of all Tasmanians were born overseas. They originate from more than 170 different countries. "The Tasmanian Government is committed to helping build a diverse and harmonious community," Mr O'Byrne said. "That's not just the right thing to do, socially. It's also good economic sense. "Cultural understanding and linguistic diversity helps our businesses compete globally, and market themselves further afield. "Tasmania is more open and attractive to the world because we have a wide range of world cultures, skills and languages right here in our community," he said. The Peace festival features music and cultural performance, food stalls, an art exhibition, children's activities, and sports events It coincides with the United Nations' International Day of Peace (celebrated on 21 September each year), which recognises efforts to end conflict and promote peace. The Festival is organised by the Migrant Resource Centre (Southern Tasmania), in conjunction with the Hobart City Council, the Glenorchy City Council, the Clarence City Council and the Kingborough Council. It's on from 11am to 4pm at the Kingston Beach Esplanade.