The Student Experience

Courage to Care inspires visitors to realise that they, as individuals, can make a difference. Using World War II and the Holocaust as an example, the program demonstrates the impact of discrimination, prejudice and bullying, and empowers participants to stand up and take positive action in the face of injustice today.

The 2-hour Courage to Care program provides a holistic experience for students in Years 5-12 through the following interactive components:

1. An introductory DVD

A short film positions the exhibition in today’s context, with a focus on bullying. It presents a scenario which could be part of any schoolyard situation. Two students talk about what happens, discussing the three roles in every bullying situation; the victim, the person or group who bully the victim (the perpetrator), and the bystanders, who see what is happening and can do something about it.

2. The exhibition

Students participate in a guided tour of the exhibition that uses texts, objects and memorabilia to tell stories of rescuers and those who were rescued during World War II. The exhibition uses the themes of discrimination, intimidation, defiance and empowerment to illustrate the experience of discrimination, how the victims felt, and the difference the actions of those people made who in the face of this injustice chose to stand up and help others even at great personal risk. The exhibition challenges students to reflect on how the actions of ordinary individuals can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others.

3. An encounter with a ‘living historian’

Students attend a session with a Holocaust survivor or rescuer, a ‘living historian’, who shares his or her positive story of rescue and support provided by others. Students have the opportunity to listen firsthand to their story when they were about the same age or younger, and ask them questions about their experiences. The ‘story session’ gives students the opportunity to experience history in person, and personalises what discrimination, prejudice and bullying means in the lives of others. Most importantly, it provides powerful evidence of the significant impact individual choices and actions can have.

4. The workshop

At the end of the program, a workshop with a trained facilitator brings together all aspects of the program. Linking the past with the present, it provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their own experiences, and discuss how what they have learnt relates to their everyday lives. Issues such as prejudice, discrimination, racism and bullying are often brought up, and students realise that they can choose to be an ‘upstander’ rather than a ‘bystander’.