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Social Cohesion Through Education

The Social Cohesion Through Education (SCTE) program at Banksia Gardens supports diversity, increases cross-cultural and global understanding and enhances social cohesion within local school communities in Hume.

Banksia Gardens partners with local schools, forming a community of practice to develop strategies and share resources and support, enhancing partnerships with families, community leaders and cultural groups. The SCTE team develops programming and content which specifically targets the needs of individual school communities. Some past initiatives include: inter-school events, cultural events, sport programs, creative workshops and more.

A range of inclusive activities aimed at enhancing social cohesion are currently being offered across the participating schools, detailed below.

Teaching artist working on artwork

The ‘Human after All’ project

Human After All is delivered in schools throughout Broadmeadows to support young people to reflect on the importance of empathy, tolerance and social cohesion, and to increase their exposure to different cultures, religions and worldviews. These sessions also create spaces for different community groups to come together and learn from each other.

Human after All has interviewed and recorded a range of community ambassadors discussing their life journeys. These short films are then presented to grade 5-6 and 7-8 classes through schools across Victoria, with the ambassador in attendance to participate in a Q&A session with students and teachers.

The group is then guided by a teaching artist to draw on the material that emerges from these conversations to generate creative output. Sessions focus on different mediums including drama, painting, collage, dance, photography or video. Through this process, responsive artwork is created, exploring important themes including resilience, oppression, courage, respect and compassion.
George_green_Bethal SCTE
Group of school children gathered around large map

Mindful Meadows

The ‘Mindful Meadows’ program is a social and emotional learning program with an emphasis on mindfulness delivered to Grade 1-2 students at Meadows Primary School. Content is continually updated and developed to support the teaching schedule and curriculum objectives of the school. Each session incorporates storytelling with group discussion, play-based learning, artmaking and mindfulness techniques.
Colourful craft jar in classroom
SCTE kindness village sign

Hume Central Secondary College

Banksia Gardens has enjoyed a long partnership with students at Hume Central Secondary College, working closely with the school’s wellbeing team to support students at risk of disengagement. After successfully running an on-campus Boys and Girls group since 2018, SCTE at the school moved toward a project-based approach to supporting social cohesion on campus.

In 2021, Hume Central students were invited to join hip hop artist Yung Phily and producer Paul Factor to create a film entry for the youth category of the Multicultural Film Festival.

Over several weeks, students worked with Yung Phily to create an originally written hip hop song focusing on the topic of multiculturalism and were given the opportunity to film footage around the campus.

The sessions attracted students from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds and provided them the opportunity to come together and work towards a shared goal. The program also gave students a safe platform for lively discussion around race, gender and culture, with students forming new friendships and connections with those outside their usual friendship groups.

Partner schools

Bethal Primary School
Gateway School (Roxburgh College)
Hume Central Secondary College
Ilim College
Hume Central Secondary College

For more information about SCTE, please contact:

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