John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSRACS) is a school of great diversity that reflects and incorporates our community’s cultures, religions and beliefs. In the Early Year (Pre-Kindergarten to Year 2) students are taught the Aboriginal Welcome to Country and about the rainbow colours of their skin, to appreciate their uniqueness and to celebrate and respect their differences. This journey of celebration and understanding continues throughout the primary years where students are provided opportunities to embrace diversity through cultural incursions and through celebrations such as NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week. The School’s diverse language program focuses on learning languages other than English, however incorporates a rich understanding of the culture from which the language is derived, enhancing the learning experience and understanding of diversity for all students.
JSRACS has a strong connection to and respect for Australia’s indigenous heritage. This connection is enhanced in the School’s Year 3 classes where the School’s Aboriginal cultural diversity studies incorporates Virtual Reality (VR) in the classroom. Recently the students used VR to immerse themselves in learning experiences focusing on the Maiwar Clan of Brisbane. Students were engaged in a multisensory experience as the Indigenous Elders told their story by performing the Gari Gynda Narmi Welcome Dance.
As secondary students, the multicultural journey of understanding continues with our languages programs, cultural events, exchange programs and open forums. Our forums are an opportunity for students to ask questions of other cultures as a way of breaking down societal and historical stereotypes. All students are immersed in the questions asked and the answer provided by their fellow peers of multicultural descent.
The School is very fortunate to have a 20-year connection with our sister school in Indonesia, Harapan Christian School, that allows our students to host Indonesian students from Harapan on their cultural exchange to JSRACS. This exchange is also reciprocated each year as our secondary students annually visit Harapan Christian School in Indonesia. This connection will continue to grow over time with the inclusion of a primary school exchange, as well as a hospitality training exchange for our secondary hospitality students at the Hyatt Regency Bali, Indonesia. It is through these learning and training experiences that students are provided the opportunity to become active, global citizens, to understand, appreciate and respect that the world is bigger than themselves and that we are so much richer as human beings when we embrace multiculturalism.
In 2019 in response to a request presented to the Principal, our Principal met with a selection of students to discuss, develop and plan a response to the further development and understanding of multiculturalism in our School. While JSRACS embraces its multiculturalism, the School is keen to further enhance the community’s understanding and acceptance of its multiculturalism, as we believe that in creating these opportunities for students to embrace multiculturalism our students will leave JSRACS as active, supportive and positive global citizens.