Recent Victorian Education Department Ministerial Directive has required the posting of program content materials for SRI in Victoria to the public domain so that parents may overview the instruction program content. Instruction program materials will be posted here and to Multifaith Education Australia, the new website for Special Religious Instruction (and multifaith education) in Australia. These websites are maintained by Religions for Peace Australia.
Bahá’í Program Content Overview and Description
Bahá’í Children’s Classes (in State Schools) is a religious instruction program offered in government schools during the time allotted for religious representatives to instruct about their religion to students. The content and spirit of these classes reflect the teachings of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh.
Earlier files uploaded to the Baha’i section of this page have been removed. The Education Department has reviewed materials submitted for SRI and the following program material meets the requirements of the Department:
Overview of Hindu SRI
The Hindu Heritage Foundation of Victoria (HHFV) is offering Hindu Special Religious Instruction (SRI) classes in state primary schools since 2010. Hindu SRI is administered by the multifaith secretariat of Religions for Peace Australia. Religions for Peace Australia (RfP Australia) is contracted by the State of Victoria, through the offices of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Department), to oversee the provision of Hindu religious instruction in government schools.
The objective of teaching Hindu SRI in Victorian schools is to provide Hindu students an opportunity:
- To learn about Hindu religion and heritage
- To learn from material designed for children in Australia
- To look at the world as one big family, respecting the principle of ‘Unity in diversity’
Overview of Buddhist Special Religious Instruction
The major aim of the Buddhist program is to provide the opportunity for Victorian children and their parents to choose Buddhist religious instruction. This program materials include the life of the Buddha, stories from the Buddha’s previous lives, the Buddha’s teachings, Buddhist Festivals, and of central importance the practice of meditation.
It is one of the programs overseen by the Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV). The program has been operating since 2004 and is managed by a committee of volunteers drawn from different Buddhist traditions and ethnic backgrounds. The program materials are non-sectarian and inclusive of all Buddhist traditions with the goal of introducing to primary children the basic values of Buddhism.
Buddhist Religious Instruction is presently taught in country and Metropolitan schools in Victoria. More particulars can be found in the BCV website at www.bcv.org.au.
“It is not, however, a course about Buddhism. It is a course where the Dhamma/Dharma is presented in ways that encourages all children, (Buddhist and non Buddhist) to think, reflect, explore, act and create so that mindfulness and loving-kindness may develop within each child because he/she can see for themselves some direct benefit.”
– Extracted from program materials “Discovering Buddha – Lessons for Primary School”
Buddhist Council Victoria’s (BCV) SRI Instructor Training Materials
Overview of Sikh Special Religious Education
This program is run by the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria with the support of Religions for Peace Australia.
The objective of this program is to impart Sikh religious teachings as an integral part of the moral education and character development of Sikh children. Students are given an introduction to the Sikh faith (its role in the family, in society and in self development and discipline); the ten Sikh Gurus and their important messages; Sikh scriptures; Sikh values and Worship both at home and in the Gurdwara.
Volunteer teachers are drawn from the Sikh community and have registration with the Department of Education and the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria. Training for the teachers is provided by co-ordinators who are experienced in the field of education.
Fundamental Doctrine of the Sikh Faith
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion which believes in one omnipresent God. It promotes a holistic experience encompassing work, worship, service and family life.
There is One God
- The Eternal Reality
- The loving Creator
- Without fear
- Without hate
- Timeless, beyond births and deaths
- Self existent
- Known by Grace through the Guru