A group of Indigenous parents from far western NSW has travelled to a Sydney school to meet Muslim and refugee mums.
The exchange was the idea of Belmore Boys’ High principal, Hala Ramadan and Menindee Central School principal, Fiona Kelly.
“It is about understanding each other. It’s about building a better community and a more harmonious, more cohesive Australia,” Ms Ramadan told SBS News.
Ms Kelly said they were both keen to immerse their students – and parents – in as many different cultures as possible.
“I want them to see that we probably have more commonalities than we do differences. I want them to walk away and say ‘wow, they’re just like us’,” Ms Kelly said.
The group visited the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque and shared meals at local restaurants.
One participant from Menindee said, “I think it’s great, we should all learn from one another”.
While another Menindee participant said, “it’s about getting together and talking about things, and to make a better future for our children, and their children after them”.
One Sydney-based mother said mealtimes presented the perfect opportunity to sit down and spend valuable time with one another.
“Wherever there’s food, there’s communication. So we made an effort to have at least one meal a day, when the whole family’s together, because it’s very important to maintain that communication together.”
Following this successful exchange, there’s hope that a return trip to Menindee could be in the pipeline.