Minister for Communities and Citizenship Victor Dominello acknowledged community language teaching as a driver of the state’s social and economic prosperity at the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools’ recent annual dinner in Sydney.
Mr Dominello joined NSW Premier Mike Baird and Community Relations Commission Chair Vic Alhadeff at the event in Stanmore which was attended by over 400 representatives.
“The NSW Government is proud to invest over $4 million per year in the Community Language Schools network which today teaches over 30,000 students in 50 foreign languages across 250 schools.
“We recognise the value of students learning the language of their heritage and maintaining links with their communities both here and abroad.
“For 35 years the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools has empowered hundreds of thousands of students to develop skills and competency in a second language.
“Its tireless advocacy ensures quality teaching of languages across NSW and we appreciate the contribution its staff and volunteers have made since 1978.
“In NSW over 20 per cent of our population was born in a country where English is not the main language and as our state continues to grow so too will our multilingual workforce.
“Multilingualism is a significant asset to NSW and the Federation can be proud of its contribution in building up capital in a program which is widely treasured in our community.
“Our language diversity provides invaluable human links to our major trading partners throughout the economies of the world.”
President of the Federation of Community Language Schools Albert Vella said the annual dinner was an opportunity for the network to recognise the outstanding work of its volunteers, teacher and students over the past year.
“We were privilege to welcome the new Premier and his wife to our annual dinner which saw 31 language groups from across 59 schools represented.
“The Federation looks forward to continuing its long-standing partnership with the NSW Government to deliver excellence in community language teaching.”
The Department of Education works with the Federation to deliver language lessons through Saturday School of Community Languages. In 2011 the NSW Government increased Per Capita Grants funding from $60 to $120 per student (now $123.50 in 2014).