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Empowering our future generations to become Upstanders

Up and coming generations shape our society. One day, their values will influence the world we live in.
That’s why it’s so important to lay the right foundations for a more inclusive and harmonious future.

Every day we’re surrounded by people of diverse faiths, cultures and beliefs. And sadly we still see instances of discrimination, racism and hate speech throughout our communities. Our Upstander Programs equip teens to navigate our diverse society with insight for deeper understanding, acceptance and inclusion.

Led by experienced and trained facilitators, students in Years 6-12 are guided through an exploration of their own attitudes and actions. We provide them with tools to develop more empathetic responses, and the language to advocate Upstander behaviour.

Our Upstander Programs are offered to all NSW secondary schools via incursion directly to the school, at exhibitions delivered annually in different NSW regional areas, or remotely using interactive conferencing technology in the classroom.

The Schools Program runs for 2 hours. For schools where in-person program delivery is not practicable, we offer remote delivery of the program in 90 minutes.

Upstander Programs align with the NSW and Australian curricula learning areas of:

  • English (set reading on the Holocaust, refugees, outsiders and social ‘othering’)
  • Humanities
  • History (WWII, the Holocaust and other genocides)
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (the bystander effect; herd behaviour)
  • Religious Studies and Comparative Religions

The programs enrich all Capabilities areas:

  • Ethical Understanding (Respectful Relationships)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Personal and Social Capabilities (Student Wellbeing and Student Voice)

Students will discover, explore and discuss

A brief documentary

This short film provides a historical background into the Holocaust, to demonstrate an extreme real-life example of the consequences of prejudice, racism and discrimination.

Understanding Upstanders

Exploring real-life cases from a historical lens, students are introduced to stories of rescue and survival from the Holocaust and the remarkable acts of courage that enabled them. This demonstrates how ordinary people are capable of extraordinary acts, and that everyone can be an Upstander.

A survivor’s testimony

A survivor speaker will detail their own experience of being rescued by people with the moral strength and courage to stand up in the most challenging of circumstances.

These personal stories highlight the importance of having the courage to care, as well as affording students the unique opportunity to speak directly with a Holocaust survivor.

A facilitated discussion

Students engage in a discussion of their own perceptions and experiences of bystander behaviour. They’re then taught how to make a difference in their own lives and communities through Upstander behaviour.

Some results of our Classroom Program

41 %

increase in positive discussion among students

86 %

increase in students demonstrating Upstander behaviour

36 %

positive change in behaviour towards peers

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