SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL  at PLANINKASlovenian language school at Planinka was established in April 1980. The classes were at the Lithuanian Home in Montague Rd., South Brisbane. First teacher was Sonja Fon; during the last few months of the year Anica Cuderman was teacheing Slovenian language. St Nicholas was very good that year and the school children received great presents. The school year was concluded with a dance in the Lithuanian Home, led by Rajki Urbas. All the classes were free of charge and the teachers taught without any paymernt.

The Teachers:

Sonja Fon                                            1980

The Fon Family (father Jože and mother Aleksandra) migrated from Alexandra, Egypt around 1950.Sonja has a sister, Natasha, and son, Peter, who is a doctor in southern Queensland. Sonja is 74 years of age. She was the first Slovenian teacher at the Slovenian Club Planinka.

Anica Cuderman nee Molan               1980

Anica remembers: “I got a photocopy from Fr Valerijan of the only teaching material available and which was being used by the Sydney school. Written down were the subjects which the students were learning to name in Slovenian. I had the most success with jelly lollies which came in different colours.

Whoever could name the colour in Slovenian got that lolly. In the same way, the multi-coloured lollies came in handy when learning Slovenian numbers and were also a reward for good learning.”

Andrej Horvat                                      1996

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ANDREJ HORVAT was born on 27th November 1954, in Maribor. He graduated from the Teaching Academy in Maribor (Geography and Sociology).

“In Brisbane I only taught at the Slovenian club for one year. There were about ten students in the class − three were adults and the others, obliged to attend, were children of Slovenian parents. Two students were brother and sister. I taught about things from everyday life. Students paid two dollars for each lesson of two hours’ duration every Saturday. Two adult students also worked together on the Slovenian radio programme. One name I remember is Robert Bizjak, the other was a woman of about thirty years.

Robert Bizjak works in a government office in Brisbane. Every Saturday he would drive me to the club in his car, and also to the Slovenian radio programme from 6 pm -7 pm every Saturday evening. On the radio we presented Slovenian News that we found in newspapers on the internet. These included DELO and Nedeljski Dnevnik, then with two students from the Slovenian school, we read the news. Robert Bizjak also passed his exams for radio announcing and technical preparation.

I found this very good and interesting.”

In later years, Andrej taught English in schools in China and Malaysia.

From the book Chronicle of Slovenian Schools and of Slovenian Language Teachers in Australia by Draga Gelt, 2010


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