Educational Project 2021
The objective of the WE ARE HERE! Educational project is to promote Human Rights and Social Justice through the principle of choosing to be an Upstander!
The project is aimed at Year 10 students and can be delivered to leadership groups, targeted youth groups or embedded into the curriculum delivery of Year 10 history modules. Students at this delicate age face change, social pressures and are beginning to make core decisions that will affect their future, both academically and personally. Our focus centres around educating students about the values and morals displayed by William Cooper and other influential upstanders. The project encompasses history, language, literature, music, film, the arts, and other cultural forms. Through the study and exploration of these mediums and key individuals, we hope to inspire students to be role models, critical thinkers, to stand up for justice; this will assist them in becoming culturally aware, empathetic global citizens.
The WE ARE HERE! Project recognises William Cooper as our official ambassador; he was a quiet activist who set out against the odds to protest. A Yorta Yorta man from the Murray and Goulbourn Rivers, William Cooper is a fine example of an Upstander and an underplayed figure that should be celebrated in Australia. He embodies the qualities of empathy, resilience, justice, and compassion. So do his family, and those who follow in his footsteps. We want the strong message of William Cooper and the Partisans’ Song to reach as many as possible in a multi- cultural way. It is imperative that we provide role models for the young; it is only through modelling and strong leadership that they will learn it is more than okay to stand up for what is right and how to go about doing so.
We feature the Partisans’ song, long revered by Holocaust survivors, including to this day. The lyrics embrace the understanding of what it takes to be an Upstander, and not a bystander. The message is relevant today both in the school yard, the sports field, and on the internet, to counter cyber bullying.
Students will be engaged in a series of workshops and activities (4-5 sessions) that focus on understanding the history and the persecution of Jewish and Aboriginal people alike, and their individual responses to adversity. Through careful study and analysis of literature, songs, art and personal stories, students will begin to examine what qualities are needed to be an upstander and how to bring out change, or put a stop to injustice. These lessons are focused on building students’ cultural awareness, interpersonal, critical thinking, resilience and leadership skills. Students’ learning will be enriched through a cross- curricular approach to a global humanitarian issue. It is intended that students attend a presentation delivered by the members of the WE ARE HERE! Project team. Teachers will be provided with teaching and learning materials including unit overviews, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, learner guides, worksheets and activities. Additional resources or support will be made available to participating schools and staff via the WAH Foundation website.
Moving into the future, we aspire for the WE ARE HERE! Project to generate leadership opportunities for students and to create connections with the Western Australian Police Force, WAAPA and ECU. Within a school, this project has the capacity to branch out into other disciplines, creating further cross-curricular links through supplementary programs in English, Fine Art, Media, Music and Languages. Project briefs and additional learning resources are currently being developed.
Our dedicated website at https://wah.foundation contains examples of the successes of our program in spreading the message around the world. So let’s motivate our educators and peers to join with us in inspiring others, especially our youth, to adopt this legacy.
Eli Rabinowitz, Rosie Walker & Professor Lynne Cohen
The HAMEC / World ORT / WAH! January 21 Compilation Video
Nance and Shira – Seattle
The Longer Clip of Uncle Boydie’s Birthday Party
This includes the Partisans’ Song
Barbara Miller – William Cooper
English and History Teacher, Learning Area Manager – Humanities
Parkdale Secondary College, Mordialloc VIC
Victorian Curriculum for Holocaust Education:
The Partisans’ Song in Four Languages – The Music, Perth WA
Stuart Rhine-Davis, Suzanne Kosowitz & Jesse John Fleay
Ties That Bind Flim and Lesson Plans
Viv Parry, Melbourne
Professor Laurence Sherr
From Fisk University, Nashville
From HAMEC, Philadelphia
Teaching and Studying the Holocaust
Edited by Samuel Totten & Stephen Feinberg
The Partisans’ Song – Interpreting Symbols and Metaphors
The Partisans’ Song ORT