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 2022 Calendar for cultural diversity PDF is available on this webpage and may be downloaded and printed by schools and education offices.

Download the Calendar for Cultural Diversity (PDF 3.4MB).

Download the School Planner for Cultural Diversity (PDF 13.7KB)

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.

  • Explore as a class what the theme for the calendar for cultural diversity calendar for 2022 'In my language' 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.

Digital calendar

The embedded calendar below contains information about the dates and events of cultural and religious significance in the calendar for cultural diversity.

Languages

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.

July’s language is Ngunnawal which belongs to the Southern tablelands Yuin group of the Pama-Nyungan family of Australian languages.

At the time of European settlement there were an estimated 250 distinct Aboriginal languages in Australia. Over half of these are no longer used. Many of those remaining are spoken fluently by only a few Elders and face extinction without urgent steps being taken to record them.

Ngunnawal is the language of the Ngunnawal people who, when first encountered by European settlers in the 1820s, lived in the area which now includes Canberra, Queanbeyan and Yass. Ngunnawal Country is roughly bounded by the New South Wales towns of Braidwood, Boorowa, Goulburn and Tumut. This area has a harsh climate which at times would impact food resources.

Ngunnawal people had complex seasonal calendars with detailed knowledge of the positions of stars and constellations as well as the changing weather patterns, animal behaviours and plant availability. This knowledge, gained over thousands of years, was used to sustainably modify the environment to enhance the availability of food and medicines.

July or thereabouts was winter, Magarawangga, when fur cloaks were worn for warmth. Traditionally, possum-skin cloaks started as a single skin to wrap a newborn baby and then added to over time. They were illustrated with stories of the life, clan and country of their owners. Following white settlement and the introduction of woollen blankets the tradition of making cloaks was largely discontinued although their traditional significance endures.

For almost a century, the Ngunnawal language has not been spoken fluently. Today the Ngaiyuriija Ngunnawal Language Group, comprised of a number of Ngunnawal family groups are revitalising their language. Language thought lost is being rediscovered through journals, tapes and the words held and shared by Elders.

Australia’s capital, Canberra, is the word for ‘meeting place’ in the Ngunnawal language.

'Our Ngunnawal language links family and community to our homelands. Our language is the key to all our relationships and how we interact with each other.'

- Caroline Hughes, Ngunnawal Elder

Artwork

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 2023 calendar for cultural diversity is 'Creating connections'. Contributions will open in March and close on 12 August 2022.

Each year, the calendar for cultural diversity includes an inset on the relevant lunar year, and its Australian zodiac equivalent, on the inside cover. 2023 is the Lunar Year of the Rabbit / Platypus. Schools are invited to submit artwork on this theme.

Artwork should:

  • reflect the theme
  • link to curriculum area
  • 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, 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.

Schools may submit up to four entries.

Photographs should be submitted although the original artwork will need to be available for shortlisted schools. 

File name of artwork should include name of school and title of artwork.

The following information should be gathered before submitting each artwork:

  • name of artist/s
  • year/s
  • title of artwork
  • name of school
  • traditional country on which school is located
  • name and email of teacher contact
  • description relating to the work on the relevant annual theme (approximately 25 - 50 words)
  • completed authority to publish form (DOC 37KB). For whole class or whole school artworks, a member of the school executive can complete the form on behalf of the school.

Submit an artwork by completing the calendar for cultural diversity artwork entry form.

For more information please contact culturaldiversitycalendar@det.nsw.edu.au

Digital backgrounds

Explore and download our new digital backgrounds which can be used as desktop wallpapers and/or backgrounds in virtual meetings.

Desktop wallpaper for January 2022 calendar
Image: Example of digital background

Resources

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

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