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Community Language Schools celebrated at annual gala dinner in Sydney

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The NSW Federation of Community Language Schools held its annual gala dinner at the Grand Ballroom of the Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney’s south west on Saturday, November 19.

The event was a chance to celebrate Community Language Schools in NSW, as well as the volunteers who make these schools a success.

Hundreds of teachers were amongst the 550 people who attended the dinner on the night, along with a broad range of Parliamentarians and community leaders.

This included the NSW Labor Leader, Chris Minns MP; the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure MP, representing the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet; the NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP; Parliamentary Secretary for Wollongong and the Illawarra, Peter Poulos MLC; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis; the CEO of the Federation, Michael Christodoulou AM; and the President of the Federation, Lucia Johns; among many others.

On the night, Mr Coure announced a grant of $400,000 to support the work of the organisation in 2023.

The Minister said the funding was a partnership between the Federation and Multicultural NSW and comes on top of $9.9 million already committed to support the 3000 voluntary teachers who run classes in 400 locations around the state for 33,000 children studying over 60 different languages.

“Learning a second language is a priority if we are to become a truly global destination. I look forward to students embracing greater opportunities in language education because it is the vehicle which drives culture, tradition and heritage for generations,” Mr Coure said.

President of the Federation, Ms Johns, welcomed this announcement for further support from the NSW Government for the organisation’s work.

The NSW Labor Leader, Mr Minns also spoke on the night and announced a revision and comprehensive approach to community languages for security of tenure. Mr Minns said Labor will address the discrepancy of funding per capita in NSW when compared to Victoria.

Both the Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr Kamper, and the Member for Lakemba, Jihad Dib, threw their full support behind Mr Minns’ announcement on the night.

“It’s in our DNA to educate and work with ethnic communities. Multiculturalism started with the Labor Party,” Mr Kamper said.

“So we’re really proud… we’ve got a great vision to underpin long-term and solid support and solid funding [for community languages].”

After all these announcements, the night concluded with a number of different cultural dancing performances and mingling among guests.

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