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MELC grants program

The Multicultural Education and Languages Committee (MELC) run a grants program on behalf of the South Australian Minister for Education and Child Development. The program is aimed at promoting languages and multicultural education in schools and children's services in South Australia.

Each year MELC develops and provides funding for innovative school-based projects, which provide opportunities for students to actively engage in linguistic and cultural diversity, and to consider their own linguistic, social, and cultural practices and identities.

Schools from all schooling sectors are eligible to apply to be involved in MELC projects.

Projects are based on principles that include:

  • Learning in diversity
    The projects ensure that students are engaged in experiences that promote learning about themselves and their learning in the context of diversity.
  • Identity formation
    The projects ensure that students are invited to reflect on their own identities, belonging, perspectives and to develop self-awareness of their education and life in the context of diversity.
  • Experience
    The projects are experientially focused.
  • Imagination
    The projects foster imagination and creativity.
  • Participation
    The projects invite participation of early childhood centres, schools and the wider community.
  • Opportunities
    The projects afford opportunities for participation of marginalised young people.
  • Engagement
    The projects foster direct engagement with linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Reflection
    The projects include opportunities for evaluating and reflecting on experiences of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Sharing
    The projects yield a tangible resource that can be shared with centres, schools and the wider educational community.

Information and teaching resources relating to the projects are made available on the MELC website at the completion of projects.

2016 projects (starting in term 1 2017)

My Kitchen

The My Kitchen project aims to encourage preschool and junior primary students to investigate cultural differences and similarities.

Students will create making visual art representations of their various family kitchens and pantries. Food will be used as a metaphor for cultural differences and similarities.

Students will investigate who works in their family kitchen, and learn about the kitchen’s place in different cultures.  Words associated with multiculturalism such as difference, culture, and empathy will be explored, and visual art techniques will be used to illustrate the student’s investigations.

Through the project students will develop visual arts skills like construction, drawing, and printmaking. They will also learn about storytelling and being part of a collaborative process.

Audio and visual interviews with students and their families, and images of students’ artwork will be developed into an eBook which will be available as a teaching resource.

A final celebration will be an installation of kitchen dioramas built by the students and their families in a suburban Art HOUSE, accompanied with food, music and visual art activities. 

The project is led by South Australian artist James Parker. You can find out more about James on his website or facebook page

Schools selected to be involved in the My Kitchen Project:

  • Campbelltown Preschool
  • Klemzig Primary School
  • Para Vista P-7 School
  • St Bernadette’s School

Youth Music Identity Profiles

The Youth Music Identity Profiles project aims to increase cultural awareness and enable positive identity building.

The project will engage two groups of students in a series of workshops. The students will be from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, undergoing the transition from middle to senior secondary school.

Students will explore their most memorable encounters with music, and how music best expresses their individuality. They will use digital technology to develop an individual music identity profile, and one for the whole group.

The project will help to develop unique Music Identity Profiles student and teaching resources. The project is led by Dr Daniela Kaleva, who is a music lecturer at UniSA. Project manager Dr Alison Elder and sound artist Philip Rene van Hout are also involved in the project. 

Schools selected to be involved in the Youth Music Identity Project:

  • Woodville High School
  • Paralowie R-12 School

2015 projects

The Exquisite I

The Exquisite I, run by the SA Writers Centre, was a collaborative project where young people from a diverse background engaged with and reflected on how they constructed their identity.

While having a cultural and linguistic focus, the project was open to all young people aged from 12 to 14. The participants illustrated and narrated their experiences through story and the written word, capturing a diverse range of languages and literacies.

The project culminated with a launch event in Term 4 2015, a teaching resource, and the production of a professionally produced anthology (hard copy and ebook). Selected students met weekly for two-hour sessions on Saturdays in Terms 3 and 4 2015 at the SA Writers Centre, Adelaide. 

The Exquisite I teaching resource (PDF 122KB) is a guide to help educators who would like to run the project themselves.

Cultural and linguistic diversity: youth stories project

This experiential project run by Rosie Roberts of UniSA worked with one urban and one rural secondary school through a series of workshops. They developed young people’s autobiographical stories that represented everyday experiences of linguistic and cultural difference in contemporary Australia.

The project culminated in the creation of an online teaching and student resource. Throughout the five workshops students worked collaboratively with their peers and the facilitators. They engaged in student-centred learning activities driven by 21st Century Pedagogies and Aboriginal Pedagogies.

Students were invited to share their stories through areas of strength, for example audio or video, written, or photographs.

The youth stories project teaching resource (PDF 968KB) is a guide to running the program, as well as background and pedagogy information.


MELC Secretariat

Phone: 8226 1191
Email: decdmec [at] sa.gov.au