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 2021 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 8.91MB).

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


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 Dharug. When the First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788 several distinct groups of Aboriginal people occupied the Sydney Basin. The largest of these groups were the people of the Dharug language group. Darug country extended from the Sydney CBD to the Blue Mountains. Dharug is the language. Darug are the people and the land.

The Darug people are thought to have lived in groups or communities of around 50 members. Each group retained its own hunting district, and each lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle, regularly changing location within their country. Typical dwellings were two-sided bark tents known as gunyahs, while sandstone rock shelters were used in harsh weather. Men of the communities were responsible for hunting possums, fish, birds and kangaroo, often collaborating with other groups to hunt and eat the larger animals. Fire was used to reduce undergrowth and to catch game. Darug women harvested what the Europeans called yams (the community's staple) with digging sticks. Food was cooked lightly on open fires or in ovens beneath the ground. The culture of the Darug people involved a deeply spiritual association with the land and was evident in singing, dancing and stories as well as the many engravings on the flat sandstone outcrops of the Sydney Basin, some of which have remained for thousands of years.

The arrival of Europeans to the country of the Darug people had devastating effects on the indigenous population. Violence and small pox wiped out most of the coastal people and soon after spread to the inland Darug communities around the Hawkesbury-Nepean area. As a result many records and stories of the people were lost. Today there is a revitalisation of the Dharug language by leaders and members of the Darug community with teaching and learning programs in schools and communities.

How schools can be involved

  • 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.


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 2022 calendar for cultural diversity is 'in my language'. Contributions will open in March and close on 17 September 2021.

Each year, the calendar for cultural diversity includes an inset on the relevant lunar year, and its Australian zodiac equivalent, on the inside cover. 2022 is the Lunar Year of the Tiger / Tasmanian Tiger. Schools are invited to submit artwork on this theme.

Artwork specifications

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.

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
  • traditional country on which school is located
  • name of teacher contact
  • description relating to the work on the relevant annual theme (approximately 25 - 50 words)
  • completed authority to publish form (DOC 37KB)

Email submissions to

For more information please contact

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