Professor Kevin Dunn and Dr Virginia Mapedzahama from the University of Western Sydney’s, School of Social Sciences and Psychology were keynote speakers at last weekend’s City Country Alliance (CCA) meeting in Menindee and Broken Hill. LEPS and 21
other NSW primary, secondary and Central schools will utilise UWS’s expertise to survey, support and evaluate the effectiveness of a collaborative intercultural understanding, student and teacher exchange project over the next 6 years. The project being introduced is informed by the principles of intercultural education espoused in the Australian curriculum and is aimed at improving students’ appreciation of diversity as well as increase their awareness, understanding and empathy towards diverse cultural groups.
This evaluation study will therefore assess the intercultural exchange programme’s success in improving students’ capacity to “value their own cultures, languages and beliefs (i.e. improve cultural confidence), and those of others (i.e. improve sense of
diversity ” through “engaging with diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and difference” – Australian Curriculum.
The City Country Alliance also includes local schools such as Killara HS, Beaumont Rd PS and Masada College as participating partners. The attendance and input of local Members of Parliament, Jonathan O’Dea and Paul Fletcher at the Menindee meeting needs
to be acknowledged.