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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. Through these experiential projects, students engage in diversity.

MELC support 2 different projects, My Kitchen and Youth Music Identity Profiles, starting in term 1 2017. Schools and preschools are invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in these exciting projects. Two preschools or schools will be selected to participate in each project and the start date will be negotiated with each selected school.


The former Multicultural Education Committee (MEC) reviewed and designed the grants program to reinvigorate and refocus grant funding. The aim was to support contemporary and innovative initiatives where project outcomes and products could be shared with the wider educational community.

Projects are based on principles that include:

  • diversity
  • identity
  • experience
  • imagination
  • participation
  • opportunities
  • engagement
  • reflection
  • sharing.

2016 projects (starting in term 1 2017)

Expressions of interest are now open.

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

Closing date: Friday 18 November 2016

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. 

Closing date: Friday 18 November 2016

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 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 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