Our Culture

One of the Faculty of Arts, Business, Economics and Law’s (ABLE) greatest assets is its diversity—of disciplinary specialisation, research objects and methodologies, and staff and students themselves. ABLE has staff born in 48 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, Ethiopia to Poland, and many stops between, speaking (in a serendipitous congruence of numbers, at last count) 48 languages at home, from Afrikaans, Albanian and Amharic to Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese. We celebrate this and all forms of diversity as a strength and a resource, which this section of the website seeks to reflect, and promote.

Promoting diversity also means acknowledging the need to improve our openness to difference. We understand that neither The University of Adelaide, nor the broader society in which it sits, has consistently afforded all people within our community the respect or dignity to which they are entitled by value of their humanity. We therefore commit ourselves to principles of justice and equity as a public institution, a centre of learning, and a potential catalyst for individual and community change. We accept that we need to do better, and that doing better involves ongoing reflection.

Our commitment to reflection means that this area of the ABLE website will be a work-in-progress. Below you will find links to our Strategic Priorities for 2023, which will be augmented with strategies and events over the coming months. You will also find a link to our Diversity and Inclusion Blog and a Calendar of significant international, national, community, or faith-related observances that speak to the breadth of experience in our Faculty.

We aspire to the Faculty being an inclusive space that enables all staff and students to succeed, and that facilitates, promotes and encourages equity-in-community through research, teaching, and outreach. We are always eager to hear about what we could do better. Please reach out to our representatives at the link below.

People and Culture news

International Women's Day: Wednesday 8 March 2023

International Women's Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally. The day is also a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

Read more about Wednesday 8 March 2023

Lunar New Year

Happy 2023 to all colleagues in the Faculty. While many of us will have celebrated New Year on 1 January, for some of our university community it is the Lunar New Year that is the more significant celebration. Associated festivals or holidays that begin on 22 January are known by a variety of names, including Chunjie or Spring Festival in China,Tết Festival in Vietnam, and Seollal in Korea.

Read more about Lunar New Year



Diwali Greetings

Dear Colleagues,


2023 Holidays and Observances

  • January

    6 Jan


    in various Christian traditions, commemorates the manifestation of the deity in human form as Jesus Christ; the date on which certain Christian churches celebrate Christmas (Armenian)

    7 Jan

    Feast of the Holy Nativity

    Eastern Orthodox Churches that use the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on this day

    first full moon day in January, tbc

    Buddhist New Year (Mahayana New Year)

    Buddhist New Year depends on the country of origin or ethnic background of the particular Buddhist community; in Mahayana Buddhist countries, New Year starts on the first full moon day in January

    26 Jan

    Australia Day / Survival Day

    Publicly observed as ‘Australia Day’, but also known variously as ‘Survival Day’ or ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’

    This has become a contentious day for many. For some Australians, especially but not exclusively from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, it is not a day of celebration as it marks the beginning of formal European settlement of land that has not subsequently been ceded. ABLE respects individual conscience and does not propose to endorse formal observance.

  • February

    1-15 Feb

    Lunar New Year

    celebrated variously as Chunjie (China),Tết Festival (Vietnam), Solnal / Seollal (Korea) and in these and other diasporas

    13 Feb

    Anniversary of National Apology Day

    Marks the National Apology by the Australian Parliament to Australia’s Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, on 13 February 2008, for the injustices of past government policies, particularly to the Stolen Generations. 

    21 Feb

    International Mother Language Day

    The United Nations endorses this day ‘to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.’ 

  • March

    1 Mar

    Zero Discrimination Day

    endorsed by UNAIDS[i]

    8 Mar

    International Women’s Day

    endorsed by UN Women,[ii] celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements internationally


    Ash Wednesday

    In the Christian tradition, initiates Lent, a period of 40 days of fasting and reflection before Easter

    3rd Thursday in March

    National Close the Gap Day

    aims to raise awareness about the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians [iii]

    18 Mar (tbc)

    Holi (Festival of Colours)

    Originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, Holi also commemorates some key figures in Hindu mythology.

    21 Mar (variable)


    Baha’I New Year, marking the first day in the Baha’I calendar

    21 Mar

    International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    On the day marking the Sharpeville Massacre of peaceful protesters in South Africa in 1960, adopted as a day to reflect on the collective responsibility to act to end racism [iv]

    21-27 Mar (variable)

    Harmony Week

    celebrates the inclusive nature of Australia as diverse nation

    Variable (March/April)

    Passover / Pesach

    In the Jewish tradition, on the 15th day of Nisan, commemorating the Biblical account of the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt

    31 Mar

    International Transgender Day of Visibility

    international celebration of trans pride and awareness[v]

  • April

    March 23 - April 21


    the most auspicious month on the Islamic Calendar, daily fasting from sunrise to sunset

    tbc (April)

    Songkran (Thai New Year) /

    Choul Chnam Thmey (Cambodian/Khmer New Year) / Thingyan (Burmese New Year) /

    Pii Mai (Lao New Year) /

    Sinhalese (Aluth Avurudda) and Tamil (Puthandu or Puthu-varusham) New Year / Nava Varsha (Nepalese New Year)

    solar new year in several parts of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand / traditionally the end of harvest and an opportunity to gather as a community and look to the future

    13-14 Apr (tbc)

    Vaisakhi (Sikh New Year)

    the most important occasion in the Sikh calendar

    15 Apr (tbc)

    Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year)

    first day of the Bangla Calendar

    7 April

    Good Friday

    most solemn day in the Christian Calendar, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

    9 April

    Easter Sunday

    most significant event of the Christian calendar, making the resurrection of Jesus Christ

    21 Apr – 2 May (tbc)                


    the most significant festival of the Baha’I faith

    14 April

    Holy Friday (Orthodox)

    Good Friday in the Orthodox tradition (Julian Calendar)

    9 April

    Pascha (Easter Sunday)

    Orthodox Easter in the Julian Calendar

    27 Apr

    Yom HaShoah V’Hagevurah

    Holocaust Memorial Day (‘Day of /Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism’)

    Variable (late April/ early Mary)

    Eid al Fitr

    In the Muslim tradition, the end of Ramadan is marked with celebratory meals, acts of charity and of making amends

  • May

    Variable (May)

    Vesak Day or Buddha Day

    commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha

    17 May

    International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

    people are encouraged to wear the rainbow on 17 May and use the day as a catalyst for creating safe spaces for LGBTIQ people[i]


    26 May

    National Sorry Day

    acknowledges and raises awareness of the history and continued effect of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their families, communities and culture

    [week of 26 May]

    National Reconciliation Week

    celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians

  • June


    Pride Month

    celebrates the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community

    3 Jun

    Mabo Day

    Marks the date of the Australian High Court decision in 1992 that paved the way for native title.

    20 Jun

    World Refugee Day

    UNHCR-endorsed day to celebrate the courage and contribution of those who have been forced to flee conflict or persecution[i]

  • July

    First full week of July tbc

    NAIDOC Week

    National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week is held every year in early July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.


    Eid al Adha

    Feast of Sacrifice commemorates the ordeal of Ibrahim (Abraham) who was asked to sacrifice his only son to prove his faith to Allah (God); one of the two major Muslim festivals


    Al Hijri (first day of Muharram) – Islamic New Year

    Muharram is the first month of the year on the Islamic Calendar and is the second holiest month after Ramadan

  • August

    9 Aug

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    encourages people to spread the UN’s message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples[i]

    18-19 Aug (tbc)

    Krishna Janmashtami

    one of the most important Hindu festivals, celebrating the birthday of Lord Krishna, eighth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu who gave the vital message of the Bhagwat Gita – the guiding principles for every Hindu

    25 Aug

    Australian South Sea Islanders National Recognition Day

    marks recognition of the Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) as a distinct cultural group by the Commonwealth Government in 1994


    Australia Equal Pay Day

    Australian equal pay day moves according to the number of extra days women would need to work to achieve pay equity with men based on the most recent data re the gendered pay gap. In 2022, it was 30 August representing 60 additional days work to achieve pay equity = pay gap of 14.1%.[ii] The UN-endorsed ‘Equal Pay Day’ is 18 September (marks longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value[iii])


  • September

    8 Sep

    R U OK? Day*

    empowers people to start conversations about mental health[i]

    11 Sep (tbc)

    Nayrouz (Coptic New Year)

    marks both the start of the Coptic new year and its first month

    Variable (25-27 Sep 2022)

    Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

    Jewish New Year festival commemorates the creation of the world

  • October

    1 Oct

    International Day of Older Persons

    UN-endorsed day to raise awareness of the impact of an aging population[i]

    Variable (tbc)

    Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

    holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with fasting and repentance

    7-8 Oct (tbc)

    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (Mawlid Al-Nabi)

    the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is commemorated in most Muslim-majority countries


    10 Oct

    Mental Health Day

    to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health[ii]

    24 Oct (variable)

    Deepavali (Diwali, Festival of Lights)

    Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths celebration of the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance

  • November

    8 Nov

    Birth of Guru Nanak

    founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru; may also be called Guru Nanak Gurpurb, Guru Nanak's Prakash Utsav or Guru Nanak Dev Hi Jayanti

    25 Nov

    International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

    observed since 1981, date chosen to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo[i]

  • December

    3 Dec

    International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements[i]

    10 Dec

    Human Rights Day

    marks adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948[ii]

    18 Dec

    International Migrants Day

    to mark the anniversary of the 1990 adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families[iii]

    Variable (tbc)

    Chanukah (Hanukkah)

    Jewish Festival of Lights / commemorates the recapture and rededication by the Jewish people of the Jerusalem Temple

    25 Dec

    Christmas Day

    In the Christian tradition, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ as incarnation of the deity (observed on this date by churches following the Gregorian calendar). Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.