More support for Holocaust Education in Victorian Schools

The Premier announced today that more Victorian schools will get additional support to help teach students about the Holocaust and stamp out antisemitism, thanks to an expanded partnership between the Victorian Government and Gandel Philanthropy.

An additional 110 teaching teams at government secondary schools will undertake a professional learning program run by the Jewish Holocaust Centre before the end of 2022 – building on the forty government secondary schools undertaking the program this year, as announced in December 2020.

Equal contributions from the Victorian Government and Gandel Philanthropy will provide a total boost of $150,000 for the ten-step program, which involves virtual and face-to-face components, including staff from the Jewish Holocaust Centre visiting schools to support curriculum review and planning.

The teaching teams will also be able to meet a Melbourne-based Holocaust survivor and hear first-hand their unique experience.

The expansion builds on last year’s pledge to ensure Holocaust education in every secondary school, as well as new and updated teaching and learning resources to be developed in partnership with Victorian Jewish community organisations and Gandel Philanthropy. These new resources are now available to schools.

The program uses these resources to help recognise the short and long-term causes and effects of prejudice, discrimination and, ultimately, genocide. It teaches students to become informed and active citizens, protect democracy, and value a diverse and inclusive society.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre welcomes the announcement. Museum Director & CEO Jayne Josem explains that “the Jewish Holocaust Centre is eager to support schools tackling racism and antisemitism in their playgrounds and in their classrooms, and this funding will ensure that we can start this work. We will be equipping educators with the knowledge and resources they need to teach this difficult topic in a safe and engaging way. We have the expertise and we have the primary source evidence collected from Australian survivors. The systematic mass murder of Jews in Europe did not happen overnight. An analysis of the environment in which the Holocaust happened and the factors which allowed the hate to spread are vital and relevant lessons for all young people today. Our goal is to educate against the hate which we again see permeating society, as witnessed in the Grampians on Australia Day and in other recent local instances where people are displaying neo-Nazi symbols and salutes in public.”

Caption: Daniel Andrews talking with Holocaust survivor Ana de Leon at the Gandel Holocaust Education Conference in 2019. Photo: Peter Haskin