IN MUSICAL parlance, discord creates a sense of tension and perhaps even some looming fear.
Thursday marked Harmony Day in Australia, a celebration of cultural diversity in Australia.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Harmony Day which has actually been expanded and renamed Harmony Week.
Harmony Week embraces inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.
But its roots are very dissonant and horrific.
In the UN's calendar, this became known as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
It's a brass ring which has never been grasped in the intervening years and one which is tossed ever out of reach by flippant, yet powerful, comments by political leaders, media commentators and people in the streets.
Despite this, somewhere along the way, Australia declared itself the 'most successful multicultural country' in the world
In a week dedicated to inclusiveness, respect and compassion, there's a few jarring refrains ringing in the ears of Australians.
Our country made headlines on a global scale in a very bad way this week.
It prompted some digging, the Washington Post, it found Australia had "a history of far-right groups that have targeted immigrants and minorities" and from the start of the last century "the country adopted a number of policies designed to exclude immigrants of non-European origin."
Less than six months ago, our current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said: "we would be kidding ourselves if we did not call out the fact" that "radical, violent, extremist Islam" opposes our very way of life.
In view of recent tragedies, you have to wonder what our way of life actually constitutes and what it opposes.
And we have to ask whether language like this has created a dynamic where we are opposed to a group of people who we've chosen to define.
While dissonance will unpleasantly linger in a listener's ear, it serves a purpose.
The ear remains piqued until a consonant resolution is proffered.
Here's where we resolve to put an end to the past's wrongs.