The Aspire Role Models program improves the self-esteem and aspirations of young students and fosters positive attitudes towards citizenship, social cohesion and civic participation.
During the program, role models from the Muslim community facilitate a series of interactive presentations based on their own life journey. Three universal themes are emphasised throughout the presentations: inspiring young Muslim Australians; challenging stereotypes and misconceptions of the Muslim community; and encouraging young Muslims to pursue a path of education.
The presentations aim to allow students to understand the challenges faced by others and how they were able to overcome them, inspire students to pursue education as an important element in their life journey, and cultivate high aspirations and ambitions in young people.
Currently 24 role models have made connections with over 50 school principals on issues facing youth, with more than 80% of students surveyed feeling more inspired and motivated to pursue an educational pathway and at least 70% of students feeling that education is the key to success.
Stand Tall, Speak Out! (STSO) is the original interschool poetry slam mentorship program in Sydney and was initiated by the LMA in 2014 to a group of 70 students from five local high schools. Each school was allocated an experienced poet to mentor the students and run the weekly workshops. The students all embraced the LMA’s five-week program and united to celebrate the beauty in diversity through spoken word poetry.
The STSO curriculum was developed by Alia Gabres, an internationally renowned poet, storyteller and creative producer who helped to build the Stage 5 English curriculum outcomes into the content, giving mentors the tools to help students learn new literary skills and construct original pieces of work.
The program culminates with an inter-school poetry slam where students perform their work to an audience of their peers in an inclusive and encouraging environment.
STSO has been delivered at Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular schools across Sydney and has received fantastic feedback, not only from students and teachers, but also Government, with former Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr John Ajaka, officially opening the inter-school poetry slam at the State Library of NSW in 2016.
STSO 2017 was the largest interschool poetry slam to date, involving 8 schools, and over 150 students, who all competed at the inter-school poetry slam finale at the Art Gallery of NSW to mark the launch of Youth Week.
Due to the success of STSO, an English as a Second Language (ESL) iteration was designed and produced. The rationale for this unit of work remains very similar to the first edition, however the objectives draw directly from the ESL curriculum. Mentors for this iteration are TESOL trained university students, tutors or teachers. The reason for this is to ensure they all have the required knowledge to work with a unique mix of students. The program has been delivered at schools with a large number of refugees and/or newly arrived migrants.
Write It Out (WIO) harnesses the abilities of students to express their opinions openly and freely in a safe environment and contribute to a special edition of the LMA’s flagship publication, Youthink Magazine. The WIO unit of work is based on the notion that voices from diverse backgrounds have the power to act as transformative agents of social change. Through a focus on print media and the YouthInk Magazine, students engage in critical and creative conversations about how voices from diverse backgrounds are represented in the media.
The WIO unit of work was developed to fulfil the requirements of the NSW K-10 English Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. It builds on the general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum, with specific attention to literacy, critical and creative thinking, intercultural understanding, and difference and diversity. The unit meets the content and text requirements for Stage 5, as students respond to and compose print media texts that give them the experience of texts that are written about intercultural experiences, texts that explore a range of cultural, social and gender perspectives, and texts that are about popular and youth cultures.
Due to the success of WIO, an English as a Second Language (ESL) iteration was designed and produced. The rationale for this unit of work remains very similar to the first edition, however the objectives draw directly from the ESL curriculum. Mentors for this iteration are TESOL trained university students, tutors or teachers. The reason for this is to ensure they all have the required knowledge to work with a unique mix of students. The program has been delivered at schools with a large number of refugees and/or newly arrived migrants.
The Equip Program is a series of public speaking and debating mentoring sessions delivered by mentors to students at local high schools. The program is built as a debating upskilling initiative and aims to foster a greater understanding of identity and citizenship among students, centred on multiculturalism and social justice. The completion of the program culminates with an inter school debating competition, hosted at the State Library of NSW.
The Hidayah Leadership Program aims to empower, inspire and provide avenues of expression and engagement for young people in the local community. To date, the program has engaged over 60 students from 4 different Sydney schools on a leadership camp. The first phase of the program took place at a three-day residential camp in August 2016, where students took part in workshops based on team work, project management and communication.