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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, diverse 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 8-12 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 FREE to all Victorian secondary schools via incursion directly to the school, at exhibitions delivered annually in three different Victorian regional areas, or remotely using interactive conferencing technology in the classroom.

The Secondary Years Program runs for 1 hour and 50 mins. For schools where in-person program delivery is not practicable, we offer remote delivery of SYP in two sequential sessions of 55 mins each (total of 1 hour and 50 mins).

Upstander Programs align with the Victorian 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 Capabilities (Respectful Relationships)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking Capabilities
  • Intercultural Capabilities
  • 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 and other genocides to demonstrate an extreme real-life example of the consequences of racism and discrimination.

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.

An exploration of Upstanders

We explore real-life cases from both a historical lens – rescuers from the Holocaust and other genocides – and present-day lens – local heroes from their own communities. This demonstrates how ordinary people can become extraordinary Upstanders.

A facilitated discussion

Students engage in a discussion of their own perceptions and circumstances. They’re then taught how to make a difference in their own community through Upstander behaviour.

Some results of our Upstander Programs

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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