NSW Government seeks Covid help from community language teachers

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The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian has held an online meeting with around seven hundred of the State’s community-language teachers.

Organised by the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools, the meeting was also joined online by the Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, the new Minister for Multiculturalism, Natalie Ward MLC and the CEO of Multicultural NSW, Joseph La Posta.

The NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Cultural Diversity, Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke APM and Dr Jan Fizzell, Senior Medical Adviser, NSW Health also participated.

The President of the Federation, Lucia Johns, said during the meeting that children were continuing to study their family language on line or even by mail, where necessary.

“The children at our schools and their teachers can play a key role in helping to communicate important Covid Safety information to their families at this time.

Supplied by the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools.

“The Federation will coordinate the delivery of crucial Government information to language communities through our website and though our schools.

Ms Johns paid particular attention to the “wonderfully clear advice provided by Dr Fizzell to the teachers and family representatives participating, in answer to their many important Covid questions”.

In welcoming the community members to the forum, the Premier thanked them for their long years of work and revealed that she had attended a community language school for 12 years growing up and that her sister had taught Armenian language for another eleven years after that.

“So my family have been involved with community language schools for most of my life. I want to thank you for all the wonderful work you do and appreciate how well connected you are with your communities.

She reiterated that not leaving home at this time is “such an important message for our communities, many of whom are used to interacting with each other.”

“So, it’s very difficult for all of us. If we all work together we have a better chance of getting out of this than otherwise”, she told the Zoom participants.

The Executive Officer of the Federation, Michael Christodoulou, thanked the Premier for “acknowledging the significance and importance of the community language sector – the students, the teachers and the volunteers”.

“Choosing to consult with this sector is recognition that, as the Premier herself proclaims, we are all in this together and united we will win” he said.

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