Holocaust education will become part of the national compulsory educational curriculum in schools across Australia.
The Holocaust will be taught in all states and territories to students in years 9 and 10, or ages 14 to 16, a spokesman for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said last week.
The changes, which will mirror compulsory Holocaust education classes in most US states, the UK and many European countries, will come into effect from 2014, The Australian reported.
The Jewish Board of Deputies in New South Wales (NSW), which has been lobbying for compulsory Holocaust education for the past three years, said NSW had set the benchmark for the rest of the country.
"Making the teaching of the Holocaust mandatory up to Year 10 is a tremendous step forward and the NSW Board of Studies and NSW Department of Education are to be applauded for their vision and foresight,” said Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Aldaheff.
"Although the Holocaust was unique, its lessons about the essential fragility of human civilization are universal,” he said. "The Holocaust is a warning to every generation about the potential for evil, especially as a consequence of racial hatred, and about the inherent evil of totalitarian regimes.
"It teaches us that every generation owes it to itself and to future generations to cherish, and if necessary fight to defend, the sanctity of life, dignity and freedom," Aldaheff added.