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Building Bridges 2019

The ‘Building Bridges in Schools’ (BBIS) program `is committed to promote mutual understanding, respect and ethical behaviour across the cultural and religious diversities in society to develop competent global leaders for the twenty first century’. 

A group of Year 10 students who applied to join the Building Bridges program has been attending rich and challenging sessions in interfaith dialogue at a range of Christian, Jewish and Muslim schools in the Central region. Our students eat kosher and halal food together. They learn about Jewish faith and culture. They have witnessed and taken part in a prayer service in a Mosque and they continue to engage in facilitated dialogue with Muslim, Jewish and Christian students from across Melbourne. Most importantly, our students have made friends with students of other faith traditions and, in so doing, can come to a better understanding of their own religious background.

The Building Bridges program engages these Year 10 students in interesting, challenging and exciting conversations to deepen our understanding of different faith traditions. 

The Creative Day on 15 August was an absolute highlight and featured a prayerful service led by students of Melbourne Grammar in their beautiful chapel, and an Aboriginal smoking ceremony in the Botanical Gardens. This was followed by an indigenous walk and storytelling. The lemon myrtle tea was delicious and appreciated by all on a cold winter’s day.

Great conversation and an enjoyable lunch of pizza were shared as an afternoon of activities led to strengthened friendships and a sense that commonality was much stronger than difference. A real Community of Inquiry helped unpack some of the big questions in our world in a respectful and open environment.

We have one exciting evening left at Bialik, the finale to the program. This Jewish experience is always a highlight and one we look forward to with great anticipation.

Student reflections:

‘Having participated in the Building Bridges program, I now feel a greater sense of community not only amongst the girls at my school who also did the program, but with the students at other schools, of different religions, who I had the opportunity to connect with past surface level. I have thoroughly enjoyed the program so far and I am excited to further grow my new relationships and understanding in the future.’
Lucasta Cain

‘Building Bridges has been such an amazing opportunity and has given me much more knowledge about the different religions as well as an insight into the differences between Christianity and other religions. The program has also enabled us to meet great new friends and people. Building Bridges so far has taught me more about myself and my religion as well as those which surround us and that we may not experience without this program. Building Bridges has been such fun and I would encourage all the future Year 10s who want to gain knowledge about other religions as well as make friends and participate in great conversations to join this fulfilling program that I know I will always remember.’
Emma Lee 

‘I really enjoyed Building Bridges because it allowed me to receive a wider understanding of religions and how they work. This program provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. I am so glad I took part in it and would do it again in a blink.’
Amy Linden

‘The opportunities that Building Bridges has provided me, I will never forget. I am so happy that I got to participate in such and amazing opportunity, and the community we, the students, have made. Building Bridges is not just all about learning about each others’ interconnecting faiths, but it is about building relationships that I am sure will be remembered forever. I love how welcoming everyone is because we were all so willing to share and participate, and I have created great friendships and bonds through the program whilst also learning about different religions. I found it so incredibly interesting to learn how we all are so closely related in our beliefs and how each of us express our views.’
Jasmine Skutela

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The ‘Building Bridges in Schools’ (BBIS) program `is committed to promote mutual understanding, respect and ethical behaviour across the cultural and religious diversities in society to develop competent global leaders for the twenty first century’. 

A group of Year 10 students who applied to join the Building Bridges program has been attending rich and challenging sessions in interfaith dialogue at a range of Christian, Jewish and Muslim schools in the Central region. Our students eat kosher and halal food together. They learn about Jewish faith and culture. They have witnessed and taken part in a prayer service in a Mosque and they continue to engage in facilitated dialogue with Muslim, Jewish and Christian students from across Melbourne. Most importantly, our students have made friends with students of other faith traditions and, in so doing, can come to a better understanding of their own religious background.

The Building Bridges program engages these Year 10 students in interesting, challenging and exciting conversations to deepen our understanding of different faith traditions. 

The Creative Day on 15 August was an absolute highlight and featured a prayerful service led by students of Melbourne Grammar in their beautiful chapel, and an Aboriginal smoking ceremony in the Botanical Gardens. This was followed by an indigenous walk and storytelling. The lemon myrtle tea was delicious and appreciated by all on a cold winter’s day.

Great conversation and an enjoyable lunch of pizza were shared as an afternoon of activities led to strengthened friendships and a sense that commonality was much stronger than difference. A real Community of Inquiry helped unpack some of the big questions in our world in a respectful and open environment.

We have one exciting evening left at Bialik, the finale to the program. This Jewish experience is always a highlight and one we look forward to with great anticipation.

Student reflections:

‘Having participated in the Building Bridges program, I now feel a greater sense of community not only amongst the girls at my school who also did the program, but with the students at other schools, of different religions, who I had the opportunity to connect with past surface level. I have thoroughly enjoyed the program so far and I am excited to further grow my new relationships and understanding in the future.’
Lucasta Cain

‘Building Bridges has been such an amazing opportunity and has given me much more knowledge about the different religions as well as an insight into the differences between Christianity and other religions. The program has also enabled us to meet great new friends and people. Building Bridges so far has taught me more about myself and my religion as well as those which surround us and that we may not experience without this program. Building Bridges has been such fun and I would encourage all the future Year 10s who want to gain knowledge about other religions as well as make friends and participate in great conversations to join this fulfilling program that I know I will always remember.’
Emma Lee 

‘I really enjoyed Building Bridges because it allowed me to receive a wider understanding of religions and how they work. This program provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. I am so glad I took part in it and would do it again in a blink.’
Amy Linden

‘The opportunities that Building Bridges has provided me, I will never forget. I am so happy that I got to participate in such and amazing opportunity, and the community we, the students, have made. Building Bridges is not just all about learning about each others’ interconnecting faiths, but it is about building relationships that I am sure will be remembered forever. I love how welcoming everyone is because we were all so willing to share and participate, and I have created great friendships and bonds through the program whilst also learning about different religions. I found it so incredibly interesting to learn how we all are so closely related in our beliefs and how each of us express our views.’
Jasmine Skutela