School initiatives

Respect, Understanding and Acceptance

150 students come together for intercultural experience

Students and teacher group photo on grass ABOUT 150 Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Christian students from four north shore schools came together at the Galstaun College in Ingleside last week for the first event of an innovative three-part intercultural program titled "Respect, Understanding and Acceptance". Devised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Education Secretariat, the program brings together students from the Galstaun Armenian College, Masada College (a Jewish school), the Australian Islamic College of Sydney and St Paul's Catholic College, Manly.

The students met for a day of discussion and multimedia performances.

Guest speaker Dai Le, Community Relations Manager for the NSW Liberal Party, told the students of her treacherous journey to Australia on a tiny boat escaping Vietnam. She stressed the importance of building bridges between the diverse cultures which call this country home. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said the program encourages the students "to respect each others' differences and to have the guts to speak out when you see someone being isolated, marginalised or discriminated against."

The second event of the program will be held at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Harmony Day in May and the third at Masada College in October. Both will feature interactive sessions with Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Catholic speakers.

Clusters of the RUA program involving other cultural and faith groups will also run in the east and south west of Sydney in 2010.

For more information : or to join a cluster: email