A fairer world - The Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning


ruMAD? assists schools to deliver on the educational goals at the heart of the Australian Curriculum, supporting equity and excellence in Tasmanian Schools and Tasmanian students to be:

National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians

Contact Us | ruMAD? video | ruMAD? and the Curriculum | Benefits of ruMAD? | Levels of 'MADness' | ruMAD? in Tasmania | School Support | Funding | Origins of ruMAD? | ruMAD? Conference video

ruMAD? is

The ruMAD? process starts with students identifying shared and important values as a group, and community issues that are inconsistent or in conflict with those shared values. Students then explore possibilities for action through various levels of involvement in social change projects, and lead the planning and implementation of their chosen projects.

For more information about ruMAD? in Tasmania contact
Helen Hortle, Coordinator
A Fairer World
4 Battery Square, Battery Point, 7004
Ph 03 6223 1025 or 0400 824 261
Email admin@afairerworld.org

return to top

ruMAD? and the Curriculum

ruMAD? provides opportunities to deliver curriculum content on general capabilities, and for students to develop capability through personally relevant initiatives of their own design.

MAD activities reflect the great diversity of student interests. In Tasmania these have included many projects within the Cross-Curriculum Priorities of the Australian Curriculum:

return to top

Benefits of ruMAD?

ruMAD? makes a difference…

To students by:

To teachers by: To schools by: To communities by:

return to top

Levels of MADness

There are five ways that schools can be involved, starting with a small commitment through MAD Day and building up to major change…

MAD Day: Students take on a one-day activity that gets everyone thinking about making a difference. For example, students might brainstorm the things they are most concerned about and think of a positive action they could take. Schools already implementing a MAD Project or MAD Foundation use a MAD Day to celebrate their achievements.
5/6 Dale at Cambridge Primary School learnt about the lives of Cambodian children, and that a simple bike could remove the obstacles to a child receiving an education. They decided to raise funds by creating a calendar of artworks depicting what their bikes meant to them, seeking sponsorship for printing and then selling copies to their school community. Students also devised an Awareness Day, presenting mini-lessons about Cambodia to the younger grades, and running a bike-a-thon, obstacle course and raffle. The class has now raised enough money to provide 20 schooling scholarships for Cambodian students – including bikes, uniforms and text books – through Child Wise.

Read more about Cambridge Primary's ruMAD? experience.
MAD Project: These require a longer-term commitment with more detailed research, planning and involvement. The project may be developed and implemented over a whole year or on an ongoing basis. Projects make a significant difference in the school or in the local or global community.

Riverside Primary’s ruMAD? team hosted a “Stayin’ Alive Past Five” dinner to support UNICEF’s work for child survival, raising funds for bed nets to prevent malaria. As with all good ruMAD? projects, students used the opportunity to connect with the wider school community, and for all to learn together: the seven student organisers involved their families in preparing the meal; borrowed a bain marie from the local golf club; and made presentations about the issue to their dinner guests – then quizzed them to make sure their messages had sunk in! The outcomes of their fantastic effort included enough funds raised to supply 71 bed nets.

Read more about Riverside Primary's ruMAD? experience

MAD Youth Ambassador: The Fairer World Festival is the largest youth social justice event in Tasmania, inspiring students to be a driving force for change in their local and global communities, and offering teachers an opportunity to explore new ways to incorporate responsible citizenship programs into their classrooms. The Festival allows Tasmanian students to share their change-making ideas with community leaders, learn new skills, showcase their recent projects, and make contact with others working for a fairer world.
A Fairer World, in partnership with Oaktree, hosted the 2013 Festival over four days in September 2013 at University of Tasmania campuses in Hobart and Launceston. The Festival had 26 sponsors, the support of 20 organisations, and 27 volunteers. 74 workshops were delivered to 1,214 grade 3-12 students from fifty schools across the state. Akram Azimi, the 2013 Young Australian of the Year, was the keynote speaker, and his presentation provided an insight into his life in Australia as an “outsider”. Akram’s experience in diversity education made him a valuable contributor in the Global Café sessions for teachers.

Read more about the Festival and being a Youth Ambassador.
MAD Student Foundation: Students commit to raising funds and granting monies to community organisations within their local communities and ensure that their money is truly making a difference.
Melbourne Girls’ College established the first MAD Student Foundation in Victoria in 2001. The girls raised $2,500 through sausage sizzles and other events. These funds were matched by Charles Lane and The Myer Foundation. By 2003, the Foundation had developed such a profile that the school was inundated with community applications for funding. (Foundations have not yet been introduced to Tasmania.)
ruMAD? & Service Clubs: An extension to the MAD Project, for which a Service Club partners with an ruMAD? class to explore the enterprising and life skills used by the students in developing their project.

return to top

ruMAD? in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning is the only organisation authorised to deliver ruMAD? in Tasmania. Read more on-line about MAD Activities and case studies from MAD Schools in Tasmania. ruMAD? can be used to deliver key components of the Australian Curriculum, the National Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship, and the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools.  It has been endorsed by the Education Department of Tasmania:
“The ruMAD? Program … provides a best practice framework for education in values and responsible citizenship, allowing significant connections to be made with the Tasmanian Curriculum Framework.”

Memorandum of Understanding, Tasmanian Department of Education and the Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning, signed 2008
The Australian Education Union has also given its support:
The Union believes that ruMAD? is a valuable educational program that will greatly benefit Tasmanian students, teachers and the wider community. The Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning has our full support in bringing the program to Tasmania.
Chris Lane, State Manager

return to top

School Support

The Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning is able to provide an extensive support structure to member schools implementing the ruMAD? Program. This includes:

return to top


ruMAD? school support is currently offered on a fee-for-service ba. The Tasmanian ruMAD? Program was partially supported by the Tasmanian Government through the Education Department from 2010-13.

Since 2005, the Program has also benefited from the support of a number of other organisations, including the Tasmanian Community Fund, Tasmanian Community Foundation, the Elaine Haworth Trust (managed by the Perpetual Foundation), Rotary Club of Hobart, Vodafone Foundation and the Sidney Myer Fund. The ruMAD? Youth Action Conferences and the Fairer World Festival have received funding or in-kind support from many generous sponsors (see our supporter page).

return to top

Origins of ruMAD?

Goal 2 of the Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians requires that “all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens”. To realise this goal, students of all abilities need opportunities for authentic learning – programs that bring democratic processes to the classroom, that connect them with their community, and that empower them to take positive action on the real-life issues of importance to them.

The ruMAD? Program was developed and piloted in Victoria in 2001 by Dr David Zyngier, a lecturer and researcher in the area of student engagement, particularly for at-risk students, and Claire Brunner, a youth facilitator who has worked with young people in forums from juvenile justice to the National Youth Round Table and Youth Summit 2020. Dr Zyngier, a former school principal, challenges educators to look at their teaching practice and how they, and their students, get connected to the real world.
From author Dr David Zyngier…

I have found that students most at-risk of failure, from socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged conditions are the least likely to be exposed to intellectually challenging and relevant material. My considerable experience and research has shown that these students are more likely to be engaged through ‘productive and reciprocal pedagogies’ that draw on students ‘real life’ concerns and enable them to have more control of their lives and be connected to a more participatory social vision of society. The ruMAD program is firmly grounded and based on these pedagogical understandings.

Zyngier and Brunner were assisted in the development of the Program by a taskforce including representatives from Victorian curriculum associations, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Office and the independent education sector, teacher unions, Australian aboriginal and ethnic organisations, the Victorian Council of Social Service and the Victorian Local Governance Association.

The Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning delivered the first Tasmanian pilot at five schools in 2005 (with funding from the Tasmanian Community Fund). Since then the program has been extensively updated and modified by both the Foundation for Young Australians and the Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning to ensure that it remains a relevant to the current Australian Curriculum.

A number of external evaluations of the Program are available including by the University of Melbourne (2004), the Australian Youth Research Centre (2008, which includes a Tasmanian case study), and two by Community Focus (2010 and 2011, which evaluate the program at Gagebrook Primary in Tasmania). The ruMAD? Program at Rokeby High appears as a case study in the book Schools, Communities and Social Inclusionn published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011. For more information about these evaluations or to obtain copies, contact us.

return to top