Planning multi-faith visits
New South Wales is one of the most culturally diverse states in the world. According to Multicultural NSW we come from more than 307 ancestries, speak 215 languages and dialects and follow 148 different religious beliefs. NSW public schools enrol students from a wide diversity of cultures and communities with many different religions, beliefs and practices.
By fostering understanding of, and respect for, diverse religious traditions, schools can promote social harmony and engender positive interactions between students, staff and community members in their local communities.
Most religious organisations welcome visitors to their places of worship. While some have regular tours on set dates, others are happy to organise visits at times convenient to schools by telephone or email.
Information on religious open days, excursions and contact details are provided for major religions and religious denominations below.
How schools can be involved
- Organise an excursion to a place of worship. Many religious venues provide tours for student groups. See the list below for a wide range of possible destinations, including Buddhist temples, Christian cathedrals, and Muslim mosques.
- Invite a local community member to speak to your class about their faith and religious celebrations. Students often have contacts they can recommend from their own places of worship, or else use the list below to get in touch with a place of worship and invite a representative.
- Organise an incursion or inter-school day through Together for Humanity, an organisation that aims to foster students' interfaith and intercultural understanding.
- Use the end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr / Hari Raya Puasa / Bayram - 24 May 2020) as an opportunity to learn about Islam. Find a recipe for the class to cook together, or invite a community member to demonstrate and share with your class.
- Use the Passover (8 April 2020) as an opportunity to learn about Jewish beliefs and celebrations. Find a recipe for your class to cook together, or invite a community member to lead a lesson and share this with your class.
- National Mosque Open Day is held on the last Saturday of October each year. Coordinated by the Lebanese Muslim Association and supported by the Department of Social Services this initiative aims to break down common misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Islam and to promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Multi-faith excursion suggestions
Find places of worship across New South Wales for the following religions: