Intercultural Understanding Partnerships (ICUP) FAQs
The Intercultural Understanding Partnership (ICUP) is a national initiative created by Together For Humanity and funded by the Australian Government. Each year, schools are invited to apply for the program. Successful schools receive consultation time with intercultural experts and financial support to improve the learning and wellbeing of students by addressing an intercultural challenge in their school community.
If you are an Australian school that has identified an intercultural challenge in your school community and would like assistance to address it, you are eligible to apply.
Public, private, independent, faith-based, regional, metropolitan, Early Learning, Pre-Schools/Kindergartens, Primary, Secondary, K-12 and Central schools are all eligible to apply.
ICUP schools create their own ICUP team who, together with one of our ICUP facilitators, develops, implements and monitors their ICUP Action Plan. The ICUP Action Plan directly addresses the intercultural challenge identified by the school. ICUP funds are used to support the plan.
The ICUP team consists of at least three people, often includes a member of the school leadership team, and can include community members and students. Supported by the ICUP facilitator, the team leads and facilitates initiatives in the school community.
The team records their progress (images, videos, curriculum plans, reflections, social media, etc.) and shares it with other ICUP schools on our ICUP microsite, a closed online learning community. The knowledge sharing and peer learning is invaluable.
The timings for determining grant recipients is as follows:
- 9 June 2023: due date for Expressions of Interest to be received
- July 2023: shortlisting
- August-September 2023: interviews with shortlisted schools/projects
- October 2023: announcement of ICUP grant recipients
Applicants may be contacted for further information. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a follow-up interview. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.
Schools will apply for up to $10,000 (ex GST) to fund their project.
Working in partnership with us, you will receive time with and expertise from our Education team + financial resources to allow your staff the time to meet and plan.
- Intercultural understanding expertise
We have an experienced team of educators from diverse cultural and faith backgrounds who support teachers to implement curriculum and wellbeing goals around intercultural understanding and diversity. We also have a strong network of colleagues from diverse communities that we can call upon for advice and support to address specific cultural issues. Our partnerships with universities continue to inform our evidence-based approach.
- Capacity building
We can equip teachers with the knowledge and understanding, teaching strategies and language to support learners and school communities. We offer face-to-face training for staff, and teachers can access our free online Professional Development programs. All training courses are linked to Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
- Financial support
Partner schools will receive up to $10,000 to support their participation in the program. Part of this money must be spent on teacher release time for activities such as curriculum planning, professional development, community engagement planning and activities.
We believe that working together is more effective than working in isolation. Good partnerships create benefits for both partners. We do not value transactional partnerships where organisations and schools work simply to advance their own priorities – a quid pro quo exchange. Rather, we value partnerships where we work collaboratively towards a common goal.
We have intentionally used the word ‘partnership’ to reflect its importance. Working together as partners is a vital part of ICUP. This will include meetings and communication with TFH staff to assist planning and execution of your project, and where requested also include engaging TFH for student and/or teacher face-to-face or online programs.
ICUP is based around eight principles that research (Deakin University, 2015) has shown can improve intercultural capabilities in schools:
- Principals make a difference: The Principal needs to be supportive of the recommendations from the team and advocate for the work the team is doing within their community.
- Good decision making is research-based: Staff and students may be expected to complete surveys and the survey results, along with qualitative data, will inform the ICUP plan.
- Finances are used strategically: Spending is aligned with the ICUP plan. The team is accountable.
- Professional learning is key: Teachers are key to promoting and modelling intercultural understanding among students. Teacher PD will be part of the ICUP plan with priorities determined through the collection of data.
- Personal intercultural experiences are valuable: Interschool opportunities, travel to cultural sites and online communication may be part of the ICUP plan.
- Learning environments are inclusive: When nurtured in all four areas – among students, staff, parents and community – the development of intercultural capabilities is most effective.
- Whole school approaches are essential: The ICUP plan considers whole school approaches to foster intercultural capabilities.
Together For Humanity
Together For Humanity (TFH) is an educational, not-for-profit organisation that works with school communities to combat prejudice, teaching students how to deal with differences and supporting teachers to create culturally inclusive classrooms. Since 2002, TFH has reached nearly half a million, primarily young, Australians through its programs that foster greater connection and inclusion.
TFH has teams in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, and works in collaboration with our partners The Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) in Victoria, The Abraham Institute in South Australia and The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance in Western Australia.
Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA) delivers education programs for primary and secondary students and professional development for teachers in Victoria. The schools program established in 2007 promotes awareness and understanding of different faiths and cultures. As a registered harm prevention charity, JCMA aims to counter racism and discrimination.
The Abraham Institute
The Abraham Institute is an educational organisation which promotes interfaith and intercultural dialogue and understanding. It aims to develop an ongoing dialogue among people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds and encourage greater understanding of religious and cultural minorities through education in schools, as well as events for the general public.