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Celebrating Diversity in Education


Zoe Satherley
21 August 2007
Southern Cross University is determined to build a University community that is truly diverse and welcoming to all.

Its proactive approach is exemplified by a year-long project currently under way called Thinking Diversity – Beyond Tolerance, which aims to engage all students and staff in a thoughtful but lively and challenging examination of equity and access issues.

On Friday, students, staff and members of the general public will come together in Lismore for another significant chapter in the series of events being run under this project, which include concerts, festivals, workshops, art exhibitions, books, articles, community forums and lectures.

The Diversity in Education – Beyond Tolerance conference is being held at Invercauld House, 161 Invercauld Rd, Goonellabah from 9am – 4pm and is open to anyone who is interested in equity issues and wants a new perspective on tolerance.

“This free one-day conference will present ample opportunities to engage with challenging ideas in presentations, keynotes, workshops and discussion panels,” said co-organiser Soenke Biermann.

Highlights include a discussion panel ‘How do we promote and sustain diversity in education?’ with Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark, Head of Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Professor Judy Atkinson and head of the School of Law and Justice, Professor Bee Chen Goh.

A student panel will discuss the issue: ‘How do we get beyond tolerance in education?’

There will be presentations by students, staff, high school teachers and community members on a broad variety of topics, including: ‘Inclusive education for people with multiple disabilities – a family perspective’; ‘Indigenous pedagogy: beyond access and participation’; and ‘Campus spirituality from atheism to Zen (and the quest for common ground)’.

The latest Good Universities Guide has given Southern Cross University the top five-star rating for its equity and access programs and for its access programs for Indigenous students.

Please register your interest with conference secretary Ryan Howard via email ([email protected]) or phone 6620 3373. We recommend that you register quickly as places are limited.

Photo: Students from diverse backgrounds mingling in Gnibi plaza during O-Week this year.