Victoria is known for its multiculturalism. Victorian citizens come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and follow 135 different faiths. Cultural diversity is one of Victoria’s greatest assets.
Schools play a critical role in strengthening multicultural inclusion in our community by providing an environment where acceptance of diversity, knowledge of other cultures and an understanding of global and local issues can be developed.
Intercultural capability curriculum
The Intercultural capability curriculum enables students to explore their own and others’ cultural practices and cultural diversity in Australian society.
The curriculum promotes mutual respect and social cohesion and helps students to develop vital skills for living and working in a multicultural world.
External resources and programs
Racism is not tolerated in Victorian schools, however, it continues to be a serious and persistent issue across society.
Experiences of racism can have significant detrimental impacts on mental health and contribute to marginalisation and isolation.
While incidents of racism may not always be occurring within school environments, these incidents can have significant impacts on student engagement and wellbeing.
Schools play a key role in preventing, identifying and responding to incidents of racism. By taking a proactive approach, schools can ensure that all students are respected, valued and treated equally.
There is a range of resources and programs available to support schools address racism and strengthen multicultural inclusion, these include:
Human rights education
Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person. They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect. The Australian Human Rights Commission have created the following resources:
Victoria is known for its vibrant multicultural identity. Victorian citizens come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages, and follow 135 different faiths. Cultural diversity is one of Victoria’s greatest assets.
Fostering multicultural inclusion is essential to ensuring a vibrant and prosperous school community in which everyone is welcomed, feels safe and is supported to participate. Schools play a critical role in strengthening multicultural inclusion in our community by providing an environment where acceptance of diversity, knowledge of other cultures and an understanding of global and local issues can be developed.
All school staff and students are strongly encouraged to be involved in shaping multicultural inclusion in their school community.
Student Leaders for Multicultural Inclusion
The Student Leaders for Multicultural Inclusion: Strengthening multicultural inclusion through student voice, agency and leadership resource aims to support schools to strengthen intercultural capability, foster a positive climate for learning, and empower students to promote multicultural inclusion. It combines practical ideas directly from students, along with examples of best practice from Victorian schools, and input from the Department, Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria.
- Student Leaders for Multicultural Inclusion (PDF, 23 MB)
- Student Leaders for Multicultural Inclusion (DOCX, 39 MB)
Annual events – celebrating cultural diversity
There are key dates and events throughout the year that provide schools with opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity and strengthen multicultural inclusion.
Schools are encouraged to involve their staff, students and communities in activities to raise awareness of these events through the school curriculum, extra-curricular activities and local events. Schools may wish to consider:
- sharing books and stories
- organising a film screening
- holding school assemblies and concerts celebrating the cultural diversity of the local community
- organising school poetry or essay competition
- exhibitions of student artwork.
- Cultural Diversity Week: held in March each year, brings Victorians together to recognise the benefits of diversity and to showcase the many cultures that have shaped our Victorian identity.
- Harmony Day is held on 21 March each year and celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. Coincides with Cultural Diversity Week.
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held on 21 March each year. It coincides with Cultural Diversity Week.
- Refugee Week is held in June each year. The week raises awareness about the issues affecting refugee communities and celebrates the positive contributions made by people from refugee backgrounds to Australian society.
- World Refugee Day is held on 20 June each year and coincides with Refugee Week.
- Human Rights Day is held on 10 December each year and commemorates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Professional learning for teachers
Find information about professional learning for teachers in the EAL and multicultural education professional learning calendar.