Cultural Diversity Week provides an opportunity for Victorians of all ages to participate in and acknowledge the beneﬁts that social, religious and linguistic diversity bring to our state. It is a time to; celebrate multiculturalism, denounce racism, and promote social harmony and mutual respect.
Strengthening Our Community 14–22 March 2015 Victoria celebrates Cultural Diversity Week annually to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY WEEK 2015
Teachers’ Resource Kit
The Victorian Multicultural Commission encourages all schools to participate in Cultural Diversity Week – there are many ways that teachers can get their students involved. In this resource kit we hope to provide you with some inspiration to help you plan lessons, activities, excursions and events to explore themes around cultural diversity. The suggested activities in this kit should be seen as a starting point for multicultural education in schools. Multicultural perspectives should be embedded throughout the curriculum, rather than as just a “one-oﬀ” event.
There are many authoritative sources for teaching strategies and class activities to develop inclusive curriculum. A visit to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) is advisable for expert advice and access to a vast array of quality resources. See multicultural.vic.gov.au to download a detailed resource list for teachers, including curriculum plans. Multicultural Education has been mapped against the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and this mapping can be used to ensure that multicultural perspectives are included across all domains of the curriculum. This mapping is available at: www.ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au One of the seven general capabilities highlighted in the new Australian Curriculum is intercultural understanding. This newly developed curriculum emphasises the need for students to “learn about and engage with diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and diﬀerences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect.” Cultural Diversity Week is a ﬁtting time to highlight the learning around this capability. At the back of this document you will ﬁnd a list of contact details to further assist your planning.
Interactive activities and project ideas
Guest speakers or performers
Exploring family and local history
Invite a guest speaker or performer to your school. You could consider:
> Develop a project about family history. Students could bring in photos of family members, mementos, diaries or family trees / histories for ‘show and tell’, or deliver a presentation about their family background. The photos or mementos could be used to develop an exhibition or museum for the local school community. Consider taking part in Museum Victoria’s Making History project which allows students to research, make and share their own family or community history using a range of digital tools. The project is suitable for primary and secondary students see: museumvictoria.com.au
> A musician or dancer from Victoria’s multicultural community > A local business owner with an ethnic background > A representative from an ethnic community in your area > A faith leader from a local mosque, church, synagogue or temple > An indigenous elder from your area > A representative from your local Migrant Resource Centre, the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a local Interfaith Network, or the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission > A multicultural ambassador from a sporting body (ie AFL, Cricket Australia, Soccer and many other bodies all have multicultural ambassadors)
> Research the indigenous history of the local area. Consult with the indigenous landowners, and invite them to speak to the students. > As part of a classroom activity, use proverbs and folktales (both in original languages and translated versions) from around the world and explore similarities and diﬀerences between them. Units of work on using folktales in the classroom are available from LMERC (see details in Resources and Contacts List at the back of this document). > Develop students’ understanding of diﬀerent beliefs and faith by exploring the features they share. A large collection of resources on religions of the world is available for loan from LMERC.
Hold a class debate with middle years to senior students to debate a topic of interest or importance. Taking part in a debate has the potential to improve verbal communication skills and enhance conﬁdence in public speaking, argument building and persuasion. It will be necessary to provide ground rules for your class if they have not participated in debating before. Ensure that the ground rules are maintained and that all opinions are treated respectfully.
Decorate the school with promotional material, maps, photos, faces or have a fete with stalls representing diﬀerent countries or continents of the world. Deepen this work by developing units of work on diﬀerent aspects of multicultural education for each class level in the school. This work can culminate with each class presenting some of their work to the school during Cultural Diversity Week so that the learning is highlighted and shared.
Some relevant statements/topics for debate could include:
Dress up day
> The root of all racism is ignorance; > Cultural diversity is Victoria’s greatest asset > Mandatory detention of asylum seekers; > Human rights are everybody’s responsibility; or > All Victorians have civic duties.
On 21 March an orange ribbon can be worn to mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, aﬃrming our belief in the opportunity for all Victorians to live freely without fear of discrimination and viliﬁcation. (Orange ribbons can be ordered from the VMC free promotional material – www.multicultural.vic.gov.au
Students could come to school in cultural clothes that represent a country of their family’s heritage or in national ﬂag colours. Younger students could be encouraged to make a hat or head-dress from recycled materials. A great way to display the diﬀerent traditional forms of dress from around the world is to hold a fashion parade for all the school at which students can participate as the models with fellow students providing background information that they have researched on the represented countries.
Primary School Art Competition
The art competition incorporating the theme, ‘Strengthening Our Community’ will be held in three categories: Prep – Grade 1 Grade 2 – Grade 4 Grade 5 – Grade 6 Students are invited to draw, paint, create a collage or otherwise create an artwork that reﬂects the theme. All artwork needs to be submitted to the VMC by 5.00pm
vic tor ia multicu ltural festival
Monday 2 March 2015. Finalists will be notiﬁed in early March 2015. All ﬁnalists will receive a certiﬁcate, and their artwork will be displayed in the Atrium at Federation Square during the Viva Victoria multicultural festival on Sunday 22 March 2015. There are also great prizes on oﬀer for winners and their schools in each category! Competition guidelines and a cover sheet can be