Australia-Malaysia Institute

Educational Linkages Program

Filling the Gap: Teaching about Malaysia through the Australian Curriculum

The AMI is committed to supporting increased Asia literacy in Australian schools. In 2013-14 the AMI was pleased to support the Asia Education Foundation produce a range of digital resources providing teachers with background information about Malaysia. The resources cover five learning sequences that support the teaching of Malaysia across year levels and learning areas of English, History, Geography, Science, Mathematics and The Arts.

Sister School Program

The AMI is helping to build long-term reciprocal links between Australian and Malaysian schools and a network of students closely connected to both countries. The Australia-Malaysia Sister School program was announced by former Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP during his visit to Malaysia in 2008. The program develops mutual understanding and people-to-people links between year 9 and 10 students in Australia and Malaysia.

Sister schools partnerships are funded by the Australia-Malaysia Institute and supported by the Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MoE).

From the initial six high schools in Malaysia that were linked to six Victorian schools the program has expanded to 26 sister school linkages between Victorian and Malaysian schools.

Sister Schools' relationships are maintained through visits to Malaysia and Australia and online collaboration.

List of Australia-Malaysia Sister Schools

Victorian School

  • Western Port Secondary College, Hastings
  • Wallan Secondary College, Wallan
  • Benalla Secondary College, Benalla
  • Rosebud Secondary College, Rosebud
  • Fountain Gate Secondary College, Fountain Gate
  • Lalor Secondary College, Lalor
  • Tallangatta Secondary College
  • Maffra Secondary College
  • Cobden Technical college
  • Maribyrnong Secondary college
  • Leongatha Secondary College
  • Elthan High School
  • Ashwood Secondary College

Malaysian School

  • SMK Aminuddin Baki, JLN Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.
  • SMK Agama Sheikh Abdul Malek, JLN Budiman Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
  • SMK Derma, JLN Penjara, Kangar, Perlis
  • SMK Gunung Rapat, Ipoh Perak.
  • SMK USJ4, Subang Jaya, Selangor
  • SMK Sains Kuching, Sarawak
  • SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Sabah
  • Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, Johar
  • Sekolah Menengah Teknik Alor Setar, Kedah
  • Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
  • SMK King George V, Negeri Sembilan
  • SMK Tinggi Melaka
  • SM Agama Persikutan Kajang, Selangor

Maribyrnong College/Maribyrnong Sports Academy and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Sister School Exchange

Students and staff of Maribyrnong College/Maribyrnong Sports Academy visited Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in Kuala Lumpur as part of the growing sister school relationship between them. The Australian students and staff participated in educational, cultural, training and sports competition with the Malaysian students and staff, including designing and participating in a netball training camp and international netball tournament hosted by BJSS. The program was such a success that Maribyrnong College has now hosted a return netball trip to Australia by the Malaysian players and staff and Maribyrnong College has sent volleyball and badminton training groups back to Malaysia.

Through designing and participating in educational and cultural excursions to key areas of Kuala Lumpur and undertaking collaborative classroom activities with students at BJSS, the Australian students gained a better understanding and awareness of Malaysian culture and vice versa. The visit also enhanced the relationship between the schools, established new educational and sporting networks, and provided the opportunity to share ideas to foster exchanges in the future.

The College is looking at the possibility of future collaborations involving even more diverse sports and initiatives, including ESL, athletics, hockey, volleyball, and badminton exchanges.

Netball team posing for a group photo
Netball team posing for a group photo on the netball court
Netball team taking in the sights

Sister Schools Exchange: Western Port Secondary College and SMK Aminuddin Baki (SABKL) Nature Friendly Compost Station Project

SMK Aminuddin Baki (SABKL) and Western Port Secondary College (WPSC) established sister school ties in 2008. Recognising sustainability as a focus, the schools agreed to to implement a compost program at Western Port Secondary College which involved workshops, hands-on sessions and official launching of the event at WPSC. The team produced project books which included step-by-step process of building a mini model of the compost station and preparing compost. Workshops were organised for WPSC teachers and students before they were assisted in the hands-on sessions where 2 mini models were built. The project promoted environmental awareness among students and has initiated a move towards a healthy environment at SABKL school.Future projects include follow-up on WPSC compost programme, visits and activities which promote the bond between both schools.

Sister Schools Exchange: Western Port Secondary College and SMK Aminuddin Baki (SABKL) Nature Friendly Compost Station Project photo album

Sister Schools Exchange: Wallan Secondary College and SMK Agama Sheikh Abdul Malek (SHAMS)

A grant from the AMI enabled reciprocal teacher visits between sister schools Wallan Secondary College in regional Victoria and the Sheikh Abdul Malek School in Kuala Terengganu. The focus of the visits was to allow first-hand experience in both school settings to advance work underway in Visual Arts curriculum collaboration. During the visits, students created works inspired by the visiting teachers' lessons on Malaysian batik and Australian Aboriginal art. The teachers had the opportunity to develop shared, bilingual English-Malay resources which elicit intercultural understandings via responses to Australian and Malaysian art.

Sister Schools Exchange: Wallan Secondary College and SMK Agama Sheikh Abdul Malek (SHAMS) photo album

Sister Schools Exchange: Colac Secondary College and SMK Sultan Abu Bakar School (SABS), Kuantan

On Sunday the 24th July, 14 students and 3 teachers departed Colac Secondary College for a 2 week learning tour to Malaysia. The students' exposure to a very different lifestyle and culture was very exciting but at the same time very challenging.

The tour included a four-day home stay and school visit. During the day, the students attended classes, undertook cultural dance lessons, language classes and participated in a wide variety of different activities. In the evenings, the students were immersed in the Malay lifestyle, which was very different to Colac due to food, religion, beliefs and expectations. The school visits highlighted differences in attitudes towards school and school structure. The students also had the opportunity to visit major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur and to hike in Tamen Neggara.

The school has already started to plan for a return trip for 2015 due to the overwhelming success of this recent experience.

Sister Schools Exchange: Colac Secondary College and SMK Sultan Abu Bakar School (SABS), Kuantan photo album

Australian Teachers Study Tour of Malaysia

The AMI continued to support sister school linkages between Australian and Malaysian schools by funding a study tour of 12 selected Australian principals and teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of Malaysia's education system. The group visited a number of Malaysian schools to pursue opportunities for developing school partnerships. Briefings were held with the Malaysian Ministry of Education and Australia Education International. The group also visited a leading teachers training institute to learn about Malaysia's pre-service teacher education.

The study tour visited Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Sarawak enabling participants to experience both rural and urban Malaysia. The time in Sarawak focused on environment and sustainability issues, both key elements of the new Australian curriculum.

Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia, Mr Miles Kupa meeting with Australian teachers and principals
Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia, Mr Miles Kupa meeting with Australian teachers and principals, April 2011, (Photo courtesy of Asia Education Foundation)

Student Leaders Conference in association with the Malaysia-Victoria Sister Schools Program

The AMI, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development funded a delegation of students and teachers from Victorian Sister Schools. Maffra Secondary College, Wallan Secondary College, Lalor Secondary College, Rosebud Secondary College and Fountain Gate Secondary College attended the Johore International Student Leaders Conference, 23 -24 March 2011, in Johore Bahru, Malaysia.

The topic of the conference, 'Student leaders in the face of global diversity', focused on youth leadership in an increasingly globalised world and encouraged student leaders from schools throughout Asia and beyond to meet and exchange ideas, views, initiatives, and visions on an international platform and engage in a cross-cultural learning environment.

The conference provided an opportunity for the student delegates to celebrate their diversity, as well as providing an opportunity for the host state of Johore to introduce its people, food, history and culture to others.

Australian delegates at the Johore International Student Leaders Conference

Australian delegates Ben, Tina, Sarah, Chloe, Hannah, Sam, Hillary, Conor and Rais at the Johore International Student Leaders Conference, 23 -24 March 2011 (Photo courtesy of Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)

Delegates; Sam Montague and Hannah Van Eekelen, Maffra Secondary College; Constantina Rigapoulos and Hillary Monteleone, Lalor Secondary College; Chloe Faulmann and Conor Lacey, Wallan Secondary College; Ben Hill, Fountain Gate Secondary College; Sarah Hill, Rosebud Secondary College; Rais Muhammad Rashdan, Minaret College, Springvale