This months theme is about Diversity.  All of us are cultural beings. Culture shapes the way we perceive and interpret our surroundings and is continually evolving. It can be viewed as a lens through which each one of us makes sense of our lives (Helman, 2001).

Australia has a unique cultural heritage.  Prior to British invasion and occupation, there were over 600 Aboriginal languages and countries within what we now know as Australia.

Today, forty three percent of the Australian population was either born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas.

The Australian population comes from over 140 different countries and speak over 200 different languages.

In 2000 there were 768,900 older Australians who were born overseas. This population is expected to grow to just over one million by 2011 and almost 1.5 million by 2026.

Culture is dynamic and is constantly changing with new life experiences and knowledge.  Having a better understanding of culture and the effect it has on values and attitudes helps us to avoid stereotypes and generalisations.

I find optimism in Waleed Ali's comment that 'Australia, with the exception of the Aboriginal context, has high levels of low level racism' because it acknowledges the rift and highlights our common aspirations to live harmoniously.  Another cultural commentator, Yassmin Abdel-Magied put it another way when talking about her experiences as a female muslim engineer on a male dominated oil rig - 'most prejudice can be removed with a conversation and friendship'.

It is important to be aware that there is often as much variation within cultures as there are between cultures. Further, understanding culture and its relationship to service delivery will increase access to services as well as improve the quality of care we deliver.

I am not downplaying the real threat of racism.  I also acknowledge that most children are 'colour blind' and we are uniquely positioned as early childhood educators to enable these conversations and friendships Yassmin speaks of.

This month our students will work towards implementing a celebration with their children and becoming 'Cultural Ambassadors.' 

The below dates are useful to consider if you are planning to highlight diversity in your service.  We would love you to share your work and achievements with us!

1-Jun-16Independence DaySamoaSamoa achieved independence from New Zealand on 1 January 1962. However, Independence Day is celebrated annually on 1 June.
1-Jun-16Coming of the light festivalFestivalThe Coming of the Light is celebrated by Torres Strait Islanders, wherever they may be, on 1 July each year. It commemorates the arrival of the London Missionary Society on Erub Island in the Torres Strait in 1871. It led to the adoption of Christianity through island communities during the late nineteenth century.
2-Jun-16Foundation of the RepublicItaly 
3-Jun-16Mabo DayIndigenous AustraliansThe Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision on 3 June 1992, which recognised that Indigenous people have a special relationship with the land. This paved the way for land rights known as native title. Mabo Day is held 3 June to celebrate the life of Eddie Koiki Mabo.
4-Jun-16Greek Glenti, Darwin (to 5 June)FestivalThe Greek Glenti Festival has developed into the largest ethnic celebration in the Northern Territory.
6-Jun-16National DaySweden 
6-Jun-16Ramadan Begins (begins at sundown on 5 June) IslamicRamadan is the most auspicious month on the Islamic calendar, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset.
10-Jun-16National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, Vic (to 13 June)FestivalThis annual festival celebrates Celtic music and culture. Each of the Celtic lands is represented – Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.
10-Jun-16Portugal Day, Camões Day and Day of Portuguese CommunitiesPortugal 
12-Jun-16Shavuot (begins at sundown on 11 June, to 12 June)JewishShavuot is a Jewish celebration of Moses's descent from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.
12-Jun-16Independence DayPhilippines 
12-Jun-16National DayRussian Federation 
13-Jun-16Queen’s Birthday (all states except WA and QLD)AustraliaCelebrating the King or Queen of Australia's birthday in Australia dates back to 1788, when Governor Phillip declared a public holiday. Order of Australia award recipients are announced on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday.
16-Jun-16Martyrdom (Shahidi) of Guru Arjan Dev SahibSikhOn this day Sikhs remember those who have suffered for the faith. The day is observed by reading the Guru Granth Sahib.
17-Jun-16National DayIceland 
18-Jun-16National DaySeychelles 
19-Jun-16PentecostOrthodox ChristianThe Coptic Church has a major feast on this day.
20-Jun-16Refugee Week (to 26 June)AustraliaSince early 1945, more than seven million people have come to Australia as new settlers, including around 800 000 people under humanitarian programs, initially as displaced persons and more recently as refugees.
20-Jun-16World Refugee DayUnited Nations 
23-Jun-16National Day and Official Birthday of HRH the Grand DukeLuxembourg 
25-Jun-16Independence DayMozambique 
25-Jun-16National DayCroatiaCommemorates independence from Yugoslavia in 1991
25-Jun-16National DaySloveniaCommemorates independence from Yugoslavia in 1991
26-Jun-16National DayMadagascar 
27-Jun-16Independence DayDjibouti 
30-Jun-16Independence DayCongo, Democratic Republic of 

Certificate III Early Childhood Education anc Care academic cluster and class dates

CHCDIV001 - Work with diverse people

CHCDIV002 - Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety

CHCECE001 - Develop cultural competence

Wednesday 8th June, and


Wednesday 22nd June,

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care academic cluster and class dates


HLTHIR403C Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

PSPMNGT605B Manage diversity

Friday 10th June, and


Friday 24th June,

Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in and Education and Care Setting class dates.


HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in and Education and Care Setting

Friday 17th June