Maintaining careful social distancing, a high-level meeting was held with NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell to discuss ways of including anti-prejudice education within the existing content of the curriculum at critical points in a student’s development at both primary and secondary school level.

Also discussed was professional development for teachers and principals in relation to the delivery of anti-prejudice elements of the curriculum.

The meeting was arranged by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff. He was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General Natalie Ward MLC, Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim, Christian SRE executive director Murray Norman and Board of Deputies Education Committee member Ben Ezzes.

The meeting also sought the Minister’s ideas about how to introduce this concept into the national curriculum.

“The importance of inserting anti-prejudice education into various points of the existing curriculum content cannot be over-stated,” Alhadeff said after the meeting. “We are witnessing an alarming spike in antisemitic incidents at both primary and high school levels, and it is imperative for the cohesion of our society and even more specifically for the well-being of succeeding generations to introduce a focus on respect for, and de-stigmatisation of, difference, of intercultural respect, of the need to identify and repudiate bigotry in its specific forms.

“We applaud the ready willingness of Minister Mitchell to engage with this issue and we look forward to a real outcome which will be to the benefit of all.”