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(based on KIND - 4 step anti-bias process set up in the 80s?90s?)

  • Copy from the KIND professional learning page
  • Brochure
  • Anti-bias training infographic


'I loved being fair'.
'I loved how everyone learned a life-long lesson about being fair.'
'I learnt how to be fair to other cultures no matter what.'
'I learnt that we should be kind [to people] even when they are different!'

In 2015, Kids Thrive artists and cultural conversation leaders hit the highway as part of the KIND: Songs and Stories for Cultural Empathy project, traversing the borders of government and Catholic schools in Hume and Wyndham to have deep conversations with over 140 grade 2 to 4 children about cultural difference, racism, fairness, and what to do when they encounter unfairness in their lives.

KIND in Wyndham songwriting workshops. Image: Carla Gottgens

These weekly conversations led to the students and artists putting their heads together to write 6 original songs of welcome and fairness, each a foot-stomping, heart-clenching clarion call from our youngest change-makers and culture-shakers on making a kinder and fairer world.

Her hands are black, mine are white
Dark lines, light lines, no need to fight
Understand this with all my might
Day and night, it’ll be all right
Ways That We’re Different - Grade 4 students, Manor Lakes P-12 College, Wyndham Vale

KIND empowers children to control their destiny by choosing positive alternatives to conflict.

The program uses Louise Derman-Spark’s four-step anti-bias framework to explore self-esteem and cultural pride (1), notice differences (2), notice any unfairness attributed to those differences (3) and take action for fairness (4).

KIND in Hume. Image: Angela Bailey

This year, the students’ learnt about the 50-year anniversary of The Freedom Rides for Aboriginal rights, led by Charlie Perkins in 1965.  They used this to explore how there has been unfairness in Australia, and a long history of people taking action against unfairness around race.

So they bought a bus -
Fighting for fairness
And making a fuss.
Angry, sad I think it’s unfair.
I care for all people
We share the same air.

Being equal and treated the same,
We should be kind ‘cos
Mean’s not our aim.
Helping each other standing strong
Together is where we all belong

Get on the bus
Yalla Yalla come on, come on!
Get on the bus
Hayo Hayo, come with us!
Get on the bus
Đi Đi let’s go, go go!
Get on the bus
Haydi askim together with me!
Get on the bus
Get on the Bus – Grade 2 and 3 students, Campbellfield Heights Primary School

KIND in Wyndham, final concert. Image: Angela Bailey

Guided by Kids Thrive artist Jo Trevathan and cultural conversation leader David Henry from the Migrant Resource Centre NW Region (in Hume), and artist Jennie Swain and cultural conversation leaders Shukria Alewi and Casey Northam (in Wyndham), the children participated in often difficult conversations about racism and its impacts. The original songs grew out of these conversations, using the children’s words, and reflecting a depth of emotional and cultural literacy developed over the course of the program that has spilled from classroom to playground.

Why did they call it a free country?
Why did they call it free?
Not everybody could eat at the restaurant
Not all Australians could be
Where they wanted to be
Why did they call it free?
Freedom is Go – Grade 3/4 students, Wyndham Park Primary School, Werribee

Click here to listen to the songs from KIND in Hume, and here for songs from KIND in Wyndham.






PD for Early Childhood professionals

Supported by Hume City Council

This one-day professional learning workshop (developed in partnership with Relationships Australia SA and VicHealth) will grow your capacity to engage with the cultural diversity in your community.

  • Wednesday 13 September 2017 9.30am - 4pm
  • Thursday 14 September 2017 9.30am - 4pm
  • Friday 15 September 2017 9.30am - 4pm

Hume Global Learning Centre Broadmeadows
1093 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows VIC 3047

Lunch is included.

Professional learning in inclusive practices in child and community engagement sessions:

  • Expand your knowledge of cultural and community diversity
  • Build your confidence in working with culturally diverse children and families
  • Learn simple music and arts activities to engage children and families in gentle conversations about diversity and social inclusion
  • Improve your public story time skills
  • Understand some of the many presentations and impacts of racism and discrimination

Suitable for professionals working with children aged 3 - 8 and their communities:

  • Libraries
  • Community hubs
  • Primary schools
  • Kindergartens
  • Daycare centres
  • Family violence and homelessness sector
  • Those wishing to build knowledge and confidence in working with diverse communities, grow skills in gentle community engagement, and to facilitate children’s and families’ participation in group activities

Participants receive:

  • A Postcards From Nanna CD and Activity Booklet to use with children and communities
  • Techniques to understand and use music to engage with children
  • Key information from VicHealth and RASA about the consequences of racism, and the benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion
  • Creative approaches to engage your community in positive conversations about cultural diversity
  • Arts-based activities and resources to foster gentle, fun, ongoing engagement with these issues in your children’s program
Women around a table drawing
Drawing our cultural backgrounds to share as storytelling prompts

Program Outcomes:

Post-training evaluation reveals 90% of participants experience an increase in confidence in using music and the arts in their work with kids, and 85% experience an increase in confidence engaging professionally with different cultures.

Reflections from past participants:

“The unexpected surprise was how easy it is to include cultural differences in Storytime.”

“I realise how important it is to tackle difficult questions – but it doesn’t have to be difficult.”

“I discovered I can work more on looking at the content of storybooks and detecting any bias.”

“From today I will use more interest (tempo, anticipation, pitch etc.) in my stories.”


Generously supported by Hume City Council through its Community Grants program




his is an historical document. It show the foundations of Anti-Bias Curriculum established by early years teams in Northern America in the 80s. The Anti-Bias Curriculum forms the basis of Kids Thrive's KIND in Hume and Moreland program as well as inspiring our notion of child-led change.



Today we had the pleasure of working with a group of early childhood workers from the Swan Hill region in a professional development session on Cultural Diversity. Over the course of the day, we explore the roles that they can play in laying the foundations of cultural openness for young children through the use of the arts.

Kids Thrive uses music, performance, visual arts and storytelling to promote health, the value of diversity, acceptance and inclusion to children. This session focused not only on how we can use the arts in the classroom to open up conversations about diversity and discrimination, but also to reflect on what biases we may have that affect our interactions with children.

The session runs in parallel with the messages in Postcards from Nanna – that is, for us all to be well and happy, we need to enjoy our differences and respect what is valuable to others. Of course, promoting diversity in our children’s lives is not limited to ensuring that they are exposed to people from other cultures and backgrounds, but also about ensuring diversity and inclusion are promoted in the books we read, the television shows we watch, the films we see and the theatre we experience. By endorsing inclusion and diversity in both form and content, and supporting exposure to a range of cultures, races, religions, and family make-ups, young people will be equipped not only to value difference, but to embrace it.

KidsThriveAndeLemonCulturalTraining2We started out by exploring cultural diversity, and the effects of discrimination. Unfortunately in Australia, we can look to our own history for some extreme examples. For many professionals who undertake our professional development sessions, it is the first time that they get to see evidence of discriminatory policies that Australian governments had for Australian Indigenous people since first contact. For example, workshop participants were shocked to discover that Aboriginal people were 'managed' under the Flora and Fauna Act until as late as the 1960s.

exemptioncert1If you read the small print on this certificate you can see the conditions and aims of racial separation in Australia. It can be a crucial reminder that discrimination is not a new epidemic, nor is it exclusively the domain of the uneducated or ignorant. Often intelligent people in positions of power and authority can be the worst perpetrators of discriminatory actions. And, while there may be an attitude that this sort of mind-blowing discrimination is easy to pass off as ‘in the past’, for some families that we work with, discrimination is still all too real. This reinforces how vital it is that we encourage, promote and actively teach acceptance of diversity to our future leaders and to always take a long-term view of the child as a major contributor to, and creator of, our communities.

Music, performance and storytelling are excellent ways to create conversations and foster community connections for children (and many adults too). It is non-threatening, lots of fun, and can challenge our pre-conceptions in a safe way, as children can comment on the characters, the lyrics, or the story and then apply it to their own lives, rather than feel like they are being ‘told off’, or – even worse – like they’re ‘learning’! Luckily, song and dance rarely feels like homework. The early childhood educators at our session today learnt many practical ways to foster links in the classroom between creativity, the arts, and how that impacts on children’s sense of identity, and the way in which they relate to their wider community.


The lovely sketches drawn by the group today also remind us of how we can use the visual arts for storytelling and communications as well. While Postcards from Nanna is a performance musical, it’s vital to remember just how much a quick drawing or painting can tell us. It doesn’t have to be a work of art that will be fast-tracked to the National Gallery – sometimes a crayon outline on the back of a napkin can reveal just as much about the artist and their perception of the world.

There is a story I read of a teacher asking a Year 1 class 'who can draw?' Every child in the class raised their hand. The same question was asked of a group of university-aged students. Only two or three people put their hands up. Most kindergarten aged children are confident that they can draw, sing, and dance, before they experience a crisis of confidence. It is vital that we continue to reinforce the value of creativity in all its forms.

It’s also important that we as adults remind ourselves of the value of creativity too. The act of writing a song, a story or a poem, drawing a picture or singing or dancing is valuable in and of itself – don’t worry about how talented you think you are – just have a go. Creating something – anything – is wonderful and often revealing. In today’s session, participants were asked to draw a self-portrait – no matter their skills as an artist. The result is a delightful insight into one’s self-perception – what features are highlighted? What’s left out? What is exaggerated?

This can be a valuable task to give children as well, and not just a self-portrait, but also to draw their house, their school, their friends, their family. Who and what do they focus on? Who do they see as their friends? Art, music, play acting and performance can reveal so much about our inner selves. Creating anything is an important part of everyday life, for adults and children alike.

Thank you to the organisations that have partnered with us in bringing Postcards from Nanna to the road - and of course, a huge thanks to Swan Hill Regional Library for inviting us!



KIND: songs and stories to promote cultural empathy

A proactive program for primary school students combating bias and racism aligned with the Victorian F-10 Curriculum. Led by Kids Thrive artists and diversity conversation leaders in partnership with schools and agencies.

‘If every school had something like this, and the money was put towards programs like this, in twenty year’s time we would be living in a different society.’ Sharon Doyle, Teacher, St Dominic’s Primary School

About the Program

Kids thrive in diverse communities.

KIND is an award-winning school-based cultural diversity and empathy program that leads young children to recognise, embrace and celebrate their differences, and take action against unfairness.

This unique program runs over two terms and encourages children ‘to be KIND’ and to feel ‘of a KIND’, whilst acknowledging we are each ‘one of a KIND’.

It uses arts-based workshops, facilitated anti-bias activities and conversations, community concerts and professional development training for teachers to engage children and families in positive, creative, celebratory interactions and dialogue about diversity, fairness and empathy.

KIND empowers children to control their destiny by choosing positive alternatives to conflict.

By starting the conversation with the child, KIND impacts the family and the community, contributing to building a harmonious society.

Drawing on contemporary research around anti-bias and race-based discrimination, and informed by issues directly affecting the communities in which it is placed, the program takes a creative approach to sensitive cultural issues, promoting dialogue through songs, stories and performance, and connecting children into notions of global citizenship.

KIND brings together educators, multicultural specialists (including refugee family mentors, multicultural classroom aides, diversity conversation leaders and community educators), and Kids Thrive cultural development artists to deliver the program in classrooms across the school year.

Piloted in 2013 and 2014 KIND is being delivered in the Altona North Primary School. KIND builds on Louise Derman Spark’s ground-breaking Anti-Bias Curriculum, a practical resource for educators that focuses on:


  1. Self-esteem and valuing my own culture
  2. Noticing and valuing differences
  3. Noticing unfair behaviour attributed to those differences
  4. Taking action against unfairness

Program Aims

  • Introduce intercultural creative activity and conversation
  • Relieve children from the burden of perpetuating historic or cultural anger, fear and discrimination
  • Provide harmonious interfaith community events
  • Build the capacity of teachers and professionals to promote interfaith dialogue
  • Inspire the community to create a new cultural vision for their future
  • Deepen connections between cultures, children and adults

Program Outcomes

All children who participated in the 2014 program demonstrated improvement across all focus areas, with the children demonstrating significant improvement in:

  • Self-confidence – 87% improvement
  • Sharing aspects of their own culture – 89% improvement
  • Understanding and acceptance of difference – 81% improvement
  • Capacity to recognise unfairness – 80% improvement
  • Capacity to take action against unfairness – 63% improvement


  • From 2013 to 2016, KIND has been delivered in the Hume, Moreland, Wyndham and Hobsons Bay regions of Melbourne; at St Dominic’s Primary in Broadmeadows, Holy Child in Dallas, Corpus Christi in Glenroy, Campbellfield Heights Primary, Our Lady of the Southern Cross Primary, Manor Lakes College, Wyndham Park Primary, Altona North Primary School and Bayside P-12 College.
  • The program has directly engaged over 400 grade one to five students plus their teachers, families and the broader community.
  • In 2016 and 2017, Kids Thrive Creative Directors also delivered Professional Development workshops to early childhood professionals in the Hume region focusing on the KIND methodology.


Awarded NAB Schools First Award 2013

Additional Footage and Information

‘They don’t make us being racist, or being naughty people, they just made us be ourselves.’ Marisa, Grade 2 student

KIND in Hobsons Bay

2016 Delivery Partners – schools and agencies:

Altona North Primary School | Bayside P-12 College, Altona North Campus
Hobsons Bay City Council | IPC Health

2016 Funding Partners

Australia Council for the Arts | Ian Potter Foundation
Sidney Myer Fund | The Angior Family Foundation | The R E Ross Trust
Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT)

KIND in Hume

2016 Delivery and Funding Partner – agency:

Hume City Council

"If it's beautifully baked and deliciously decadent, we will teach you how"



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