Calendar for cultural diversity

The calendar for cultural diversity promotes intercultural understanding, cultural and linguistic diversity, community harmony and social inclusion across NSW public schools and their communities.

The calendar for cultural diversity provides annual dates and information for commemorations, celebrations, national days, international days, religious observances and other key events of relevance to NSW public school staff, students and their families.

Through acknowledgment and celebration of these days and events, NSW public schools can lead the way to social harmony by engendering positive interactions between students, staff and community members from the range of cultural, linguistic and religious traditions of Australians.

Each year, the calendar promotes a different theme relating to cultural diversity in the Australian context.



The following resources provide teaching and learning activities to promote intercultural understanding:


A different language is featured on each month of the calendar, to reflect the linguistic diversity of NSW public school students who speak more than 230 different languages. Each year twelve languages are chosen to reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of NSW.

The language featured in July is Dharawal, the language spoken at the time of the arrival of the First Fleet by the Dharawal Aboriginal people of the greater south-western Sydney area. Their country extended from south of Botany Bay and the Georges River, west to Appin, down as far as Goulburn and to Wreck Bay near Nowra.

Organised by family groups as opposed to tribes, the Dharawal people lived harmoniously with the land, moving around with the seasons using both the land and sea as a food source. With the European settlement of Australia came diseases which had a devastating effect on the Indigenous communities in the neighbouring Eora land of Sydney. It is supposed that 50% of Dharawal people died from the smallpox epidemic of 1789 before even coming into direct contact with the settlers.

Although verging on extinction in the mid-19th century Dharawal language and culture is now being regenerated by their Elders. With guidance from the Elders and Dharawal language tutors a growing number of primary and secondary schools in the area are developing Dharawal Language and culture teaching and learning programs.

Our language comes from our country. Language gives us our identity and makes us strong.

How schools can be involved

  • Explore as a class what the theme for the calendar for cultural diversity calendar for 2021 'Stronger together' means.
  • Discuss what this theme means to the students considering their different school, personal and community contexts.
  • Explore the languages featured in each month including related literature.
  • Investigate significant events, features and relationships within the students’ personal, school, local or global community.
  • Reflect on the ways that artists make artworks that are then interpreted and valued differently by audiences.
  • View artworks that have been made for different reasons and consider the who, where, when, why and how of these works.
  • Identify possible symbols and techniques artists use in making their artworks to convey their message, meaning or subject matter.
  • Investigate traditions, forms, materials and techniques in artworks that are suitable for portraying this subject matter.
  • Consider the various ways in which the students, as artists, could present their work visually for possible inclusion in the calendar for cultural diversity.


Each year, NSW public schools are invited to submit student artwork for possible inclusion in the calendar for cultural diversity around a given theme. The artwork selected for inclusion in each calendar represents the creative talents of public school students from across the state.

The theme of the 2021 calendar for cultural diversity is 'stronger together'. Contributions will open in March and close on 14 August 2020.

Each year, the calendar for cultural diversity includes an inset on the relevant lunar year, and its Australian zodiac equivalent, on the inside cover. 2021 is the Lunar Year of the Ox / Wombat. Schools are invited to submit artwork on this theme.

Artwork specifications

Artwork should:

  • reflect the theme
  • link to curriculum area
  • be A3 or A2 size for reproduction purposes
  • be the work of a single student or a group of students.

Possible techniques, forms and styles may include (and are not limited to):

  • drawing, cartooning or sketching - using pencils, inks, felt pens, charcoal, pastels or crayons
  • photography and digital media - using apps, computer software, digital or other cameras for photography
  • mixed media - collage, photo montage
  • 3D - sculpture, textiles, fibre, installations using found or other objects and materials
  • painting - watercolour, watercolour, oil, acrylic or gouache paints, sgraffito
  • printmaking - etching, monoprinting, linocuts, collagraph, or bas relief.

Students should consider their use of artmaking practices and qualities such as:

  • line, shape and form
  • proportion, space and perspective
  • colour – light and dark and shading
  • texture
  • repetition and patterns
  • points of interest and emphasis
  • signs and symbols and so on.

Submitting artwork

Schools may submit up to four entries. Photographs should be submitted although the original artwork will need to be available for shortlisted schools. The following information should be attached to each artwork:

  • name of student/s
  • year/s
  • title of artwork
  • name of school
  • name of teacher contact
  • description relating to the work on the relevant annual theme (approximately 25 - 50 words)
  • completed permission to publish form (DOC 36.5KB)

Email submissions to

For more information please contact

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