School initiatives

We are all Australians

We are all Austalian - Film exploring muticulturalism, stereotyping and racismStudents from two very different Sydney schools got together to challenge their views of each other in a film, We are all Australian launched at Strathfield South High School earlier this year. The DVD documents students from Strathfield South and Windsor High Schools as they visit each other's schools and communities. The students examine the role that various factors, including politicians and the media, play in shaping attitudes towards people of different backgrounds.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, SBS media identity, George Negus and State Member for Strathfield and Secretary for Education, Virginia Judge spoke at the launch. Mr Ferguson said the demography of the two areas differed markedly, with 51.5 per cent of the Strathfield region's population having been born overseas, compared to just 14.2 per cent in Windsor.

'It is very encouraging to see young people coming face to face with people from different backgrounds in a spirit of learning about each other, rather than resorting to stereotypes and ignorance,' Mr Ferguson said.

'I believe that it is through gaining first-hand knowledge of each other that we not only learn about our differences, but overwhelmingly, we discover how much we share in common as human beings and Australians.'

The DVD, as well as a set of related educational materials developed as a part of the project, will be distributed to secondary schools in NSW.

Mr Ferguson said the materials would offer other young people the opportunity to develop understanding and respect for their fellow Australians.

The film was produced as part of We are all Australians, a project developed by Strathfield South High School that was funded under the Australian Government's Living in Harmony program.

The audience was entertained by local youth worker and stand-up comedian, Maree Helou.