Benevolence runs Understanding Islam sessions which supplement the Victorian and Australian Curriculum.
Benevolence Australia is committed to bringing a clear understanding of Islam and an enlightened insight into Muslim lifestyle in an Australian context, and globally. Our school programs support the vital role education plays in building social inclusion and addressing the confusion, misunderstandings and misrepresentations central to themes of Islam and Muslims in popular discourse.
The "I Belong - Understanding Islam Beyond Stereotypes" program complements the Victorian and national curriculum, adds value to classroom discussion, and enhances understanding of the world we live in. Each session is a unique opportunity to educate and promote social cohesion and community engagement.
Primary School Program
The aim of this program is to introduce the idea of diversity and inclusion with a focus on breaking down stereotypes and explore common misconceptions about Muslims pertaining to dress code, lifestyle and world views. This is facilitated through various interactive mediums such as a fun quiz, dress up and role play. The sessions are conducted in an open and engaging manner where students are encouraged to ask any question throughout the session.
Secondary School Program
The stereotypes pertaining to Muslims in the current climate are explored in an open and friendly manner, and students gain an understanding of what it is like to be a Muslim in Australia today. Sessions are interactive, and students are encouraged to question and challenge viewpoints. Relevant Area of the Curriculum:
Victorian Curriculum 7 - 10
• Humanities & Social Sciences > Civics and Citizenship
• Humanities & Social Sciences > History
• Sciences > Psychology
• Humanities > Text and Traditions/Religion and Society/Sociology
Teacher / Staff Training
We provide professional deveopment programs aimed at educators, teachers, and school staff. The tools and techniques shared are aimed at fostering better relationships both within the school environment and in society. The purpose of the session is to better understand Islam and Muslims in the current political climate.
The outcome of the session is two fold: first to empower teachers to discuss Muslims and Islam in today’s world effectively in the classroom, and second, to ensure the needs of Muslim students who attend your school, or organisation, are provided for.
We provide a variety of other programs on various subjects around understanding Islam, which fit into the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and the national curriculum. The programs aim to give students an introduction to Islam and then focus on specific subjects. Topics include:
- Ethics in Islam
- Gender Roles in Islam
- Islamic Law and Society
- Science and the Quran
- Social Justice and Islam
- Islam and the Environment
Mosque / Museum Tour
Participants can partake in an excursion to a mosque and/or the Islamic Museum of Australia. The mosque tour allows for experiencing what a mosque is like, understanding what features a mosque normally has, and the function that the mosque plays in the life of a Muslim. The Islamic Museum of Australia provides a unique insight into Islamic history, philosophy, culture and art, including Islamic innovations in science, engineering, and mathematics.
All our facilitators are experienced trainers and active members of the Muslim community in Australia and many have qualifications in the Australian Education System. Our facilitators deal with complex and difficult questions in a clear and straight forward manner, and we tailor the content to the needs and interest of the audience.
"As guest speaker for International Women’s Day at Wesley College Elsternwick, Benevolence speaker, Zulfiye Tufa, connected with the community through reflections on her life experiences as a student within the Muslim culture. In sharing the challenges, she faced growing up and how she responded to these, as well as those of her own role models, she inspired us all as females to be comfortable with who we are and confident in taking risks to achieve our dreams."
--Wesley College, Elsternwick
"At City Cite we have been developing programs that look at issues of justice, social equity, and ethnic and religious diversity in Australian society. Students in groups are required to tackle a rich task such as how different immigrants are treated.
Benevolence presentations are often incorporated into our programs – either at City Cite or the Albanian Mosque in Carlton. The presentations give students an insight into the Islamic Faith and what it means to be a practising Muslim in Australia. Students are encouraged to talk about stereotypes of Muslims from oppressed women to bearded bomb carrying terrorists.
The Benevolence presenters gently discuss these stereotypes and show that there is a much richer and complex story to tell. The people who practise Islam want the same as other Australians, a safe environment in which their families can live and flourish. Most of our students have had little contact with Muslims and the impact that the presenters from Benevolence has is positive and a highlight for many."
--City Cite, Melbourne CBD
"My personal impression (from the segments I observed) was that she was excellent – really personable – and she offered some fantastic viewpoints to the girls... Great speaker with some excellent examples. Felt that the content was appropriate and relatable."
--Korowa Anglican Girls School, Glen Iris
"I just thought I would drop you a note to say how wonderful Saara and Aneesa were at our Senior Executive session on Understanding Islam. They were the perfect people to run this session for us and so easy to engage with. There was lots of conversation and food for thought especially around the notion of religion v culture and the importance of the role of women in leadership.
Whilst they paid us some compliments, as a College and Campus we will continue to look for ways to ensure all our students and staff feel valued and respected for who they are and whatever their beliefs maybe... especially in this very changing and dynamic world we live in."
--Wesley College, Glen Waverley