John Ajaka honours teachers and students from 35 community language schools

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The NSW Federation of Community Language Schools hosted its annual dinner at the Cyprus Community Club on Saturday, 13 June 2015 with The Hon. John Ajaka MLC, Minister for Multiculturalism as the Guest of Honour.

This popular multicultural community event was attended by more than 440 people from 35 language groups representing 79 community organisations that all together celebrated the achievements of the communities operating these schools.

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The Minister for Multiculturalism met many members of the community language schools sector and those who volunteer their time and energy in proving the communities of NSW with quality language educational services.

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Community Language Schools in NSW teach over 32, 500 students in 455 locations by approximately 1800 teachers.  Minister John Ajaka MLC announced a funding grant for the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools.   This grant will be utilised by the Federation to further advance the cause of the community language schools sector.

The community language schools in NSW are the foundation stone not only of language education but of the cultural and linguistic diversity of a vibrant and dynamic multicultural NSW, which is part of the NSW Government’s Harmony in Action Plan. The NSW Federation of Community Language Schools annual dinner was a multicultural event that brought together so many communities from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.

The program of the night included presentations of awards to students for entering in this year’s colour poster competition and long service awards to teachers  for their and dedication to language teaching for  10 years   and over.

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Akila Ramarathinam with Victor Dominello

Indian sub-continent community groups were well represented at the dinner from around 10 languages namely: Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Sinhalese, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, Nepalese and Dari. Many received long service awards for their dedication to language teaching. Currently around 3200 students are being taught Indian languages in Sydney at these community language schools by teachers and volunteers.

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Mala Mehta with John Ajaka

The evening was a great success with entertainment provided by Thai, Chinese and Russian students’ folkloric dance groups.

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Punjabi group

Guest list on the night included: Nick Varvaris MP, Federal Member for Barton representing the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Tony Abbot MP; The Hon. John Ajaka MP, Minister for Multiculturalism; The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation; The Hon. Linda Burney MP ”“ Deputy Leader of the Opposition; The Hon. Sophie Cotsis MLC ”“ Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism; Dr Harry Harinath ”“ Chair of Multicultural NSW; Cav. Felice Montrone ”“ Multicultural NSW Advisory Board; Ms Jozefa Sobski ”“ Chair CLS Board; Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO – President of Antidiscrimination Board;Mr Hakan Harman ”“ CEO Multicultural NSW; Consular representatives from Consulates General of China,  Malta, Poland, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, Germany and Spain and DEC officials and other distinguished guests.

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