In 2014, The new principal of Wallarano PS, MS gail Doney asked the visual arts teacher Mr Peter Cameron to develop a visual arts program that promoted understanding, acceptance and tolerance for our different ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, cultural experiences and customs. The program needed to be inclusive of the school community, and celebrated what is great about cultural diversity in our school. The health priority here was inclusiveness, the concept that we are all different in some ways yet all together on our journey of learning.
In 2015, the visual arts program has been centred on cultural awareness through education and experiences, focussing specifically on Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, and Australian cultural aspects.
The school enlisted professional artists to paint a mural depicting many of our students cultural heritage, Bollywood dancers came to the school and taught all the students how to dance Bollywood style, African drummers came to the school and taught the students traditional African drumming, Chinese Lions danced at the school assembly to celebrate Chinese/Vietnamese/Cambodian New Year. We have had cultural dress days and Italian Day where all students are immersed in Italian language, food and traditions for the day.
Throughout all this, the students have produced art work reflecting their cultural experiences such as making Chinese/Vietnamese/Cambodian dragons and lanterns, Artwork depicting the benevolent god of Hindu, Ganesh and learning culturally significant facts and customs.
The success of this program can be seen in the acceptance and appreciation that the students have for others ethnic and cultural background and beliefs. There has been a distinct lack of racism and the students have enjoyed experiencing and celebrating differences rather than fearing them.