Cultural Exchange NSW provides information and resources to assist NSW schools in the development of cultural exchange programs and other strategies which foster intercultural understanding amongst their students, staff and communities. Included on this site are examples of primary and secondary school cultural exchange programs; a range of technologies which facilitate cultural exchange; teaching resources which promote intercultural understanding; a searchable schools database; and a wide range of links to related programs and relevant teaching materials.
The Cultural Exchange NSW website is a cross-sectoral initiative supporting government and non-government primary and secondary schools in NSW. The project is managed by the NSW Department of Education and Communities Multicultural Programs Unit.
The NSW Cultural Exchange Programs in Schools initiative was first established in 2004 by the NSW Government to build on and extend the range of school-based cultural exchange programs that were already in operation. The aim of the program, as first developed by the then NSW Department of Education and Training in partnership with the NSW Catholic Education Commission and the Association of Independent Schools NSW, was to develop a website which facilitated the implementation of cultural exchange programs in school communities across NSW.
The program was re-invigorated in 2011 following requests from schools and teachers for support in harnessing new digital communication technologies to design and extend their own exchange programs, and in response to the incorporation of intercultural understanding into the new Australian curriculum.
Cultural Exchange NSW now exists as:
- a web-based library of resources relevant to cultural exchange and intercultural understanding;
- a dynamic, searchable database of NSW schools interested in connecting with other schools; and
- an online showcase of successful school exchanges.
State-wide video conferences, which enable live interaction between students in different parts of NSW, are also held every school term on a range of human rights related topics chosen by students in participating schools.