SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOLS – KEEPING LANGUAGE ALIVE
All Slovenian language teachers and cultural animators have given the children and adults an insight into the Slovenian language, culture and heritage – great gift for life.
The book is dedicated to all the Slovenian teachers and cultural animators; to all the teachers born in Australia, who felt a strong bond with Slovenia and its culture; and to all the children and adults attending classes, making parents very proud, as well as making a mark in the Slovenian community in Australia. Draga
1957 – First Slovenian Language class in Australia was established in Woollahra, (Sydney) New South Wales
The same year a Slovenian class in Melbourne was established, but only one family was interested. The Slovenian language, poems and songs were taught by Fr Basil while visiting Slovenian migrant families in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
1958 – another language class was established in Leichardt, Sydney, New South Wales.
1960 – Slovenian Slomšek School Kew, Melbourne
1961 – Slomšek Slovenian School, Paddington, Sydney
Slovenian School Simon Gregorčič, St Albans, Melbourne
1962 – Slomšek Slovenian School, Cabramatta, Sydney
Slomšek School Leichardt, Sydney
Slomšek School Condell Park, Sydney
1963 – Slovenian School, Gellong, Victoria
1964 – Slovenian Correspondence School, SD Sydney
1968 – Blacktown Slovenian Classes, Sydney
1969 – Horsley Park Slovenian Classes, SD Sydney
1972 – Slovenian School Jadran, Melbourne
1973 – Slov. School Slov. Austr. Assoc. Canberra
1973 – Slov. Slomšek School, Merrylands, Sydney
Slov. School, Slov. Assoc. Adelaide
Slov. School, Queanbeyan Canberra
1974 – Slov. School Planica, Springvale, Victoria
1976 – Slov. School Berri, South Australia
Triglav Slov. Classes
Slov Classes of Slov. Assoc. Melbourne
1977 – Victorian School of Languages, 6 centres: Box Hill, Marybyrnong, Geelong, Dandenong, Princes Hill and University High
Slov. School Wollongong, New South Wales
Slov. School of Slov. Assoc. Melbourne
1978 – Saturday School of Community Languages, Sydney
Slov School Holy Family, W. Hindmarsh, Adelaide
Slov. Language at Yugoslav Ethnic School, Newtown, Sydney
1979 – Slov. School, Mildura, Victoria
Slov. School of Slov. Association Planica, Wollongong, NSW
1980 – Slov. School of Slov. Assoc. Planinka, Brisbane, QLD
1983 – Slov. School of Slov. Club Perth, Western Australia
1985 – Adult Slov.Classes, Mildura, Victoria
1989 – Slov. Lectorate, Macquarie University, Sydney
1999 – Adult Slov.Classes, Kew, Melbourne (2011-2016 in private home at Ferntree Gully, and 2017 in Croydon, Melbourne)
2003 – Slov. School of Slov. Assoc. St Albans, Victoria
2008 – Adult Slov. Classes, Merrylands, Sydney
2009 – Adult Slov. Classes, Canberra
2010 – Adult Slov. Classes, Geelong, Victoria
2015 – Slovenian Language and Culture Association Queensland Inc., Brisbane and Gold Coast
In Australia over 40 Slovenian Language schools from year 1957 to recent were active. Some schools were closed due to the lack of enrolments.
Details of each Slovenian school: the teachers, students, cultural animators are available in the CHRONICLE OF SLOVENIAN SCHOOLS AND SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN AUSTRALIA by Draga Gelt OAM, 2010, a 712 page monograph; and SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE IN AUSTRALIA by Aleksandra Čeferin BEd MA, both books available now only as a pdf files from the NUK (University Library of Ljubljana – DLib).
Included are the professional achievements and teaching methods of 157 Slovenian language teachers in Australia, and 100 cultural animators organising and presenting cultural programs in Slovenian language, as well as the list of students (not complete in all schools) and many photographs, student work sheets and texts.
Mrs Tanya Plibersek MP, Australian Parliament, stated in the Foreword to the book:
” . . . During the last two centuries, Slovenes have migrated in large numbers to diverse parts of the globe – the Americas, Canada, throughout Europe, and Australia – with significant numbers leaving Slovenia (then part of Yugoslavia) after the Second World War. These migrants and refugees have made significant contributions to their new home countries, but have retained strong ties to the language, culture and history of their birth place. Their intense love for and pride in the country of their youth was best expressed in their mother tongue. Being able to share in the joy of speaking and listening to familiar words was something they craved also for their children. This intense desire led to the formation of a great number of Slovenian language schools throughout Australia. This Chronicle is a testament to the dedication of all the teachers of Slovenian language, culture and history throughout the past 50 years in Australia. On the occasion of the Slomšek School’s 50th Anniversary, it is timely to reflect on the selfless efforts of those in our community who have kept our language and culture alive and have given generations of Slovenian-Australian children the rich gift of a second language and culture to draw upon.”
Acad. Prof. Dr Boštjan Žekš, The Minister, expressed the following in his Introduction to the book:
” . . . Communities outside Slovenia are constantly exposed to greater or lesser, unintentional, assimilation difficulties which can rapidly wipe out much that has been carefully cultivated during previous decades of migration. Consequently, various means need to be used to nurture a relationship with the Slovenian homeland and maintain the highest level of Slovenian identity. That is the mission of the Office for Slovenians Abroad which I lead with great satisfaction. The Office organises seminars for teachers of Slovenian language and cultural animators, as well as the care and maintenance of migrant archives.
It closely monitors Slovenian communities and, with encouragement and suggestions, collaborates with the Ministries for specific projects. Special attention is given to compatriots with special knowledge and qualifications who wish to cooperate professionally with, or who are prepared to return briefly to, their Slovenian homeland. We encourage you enthusiastically, as you strive in a distant land, to keep alive the spoken and written Slovenian word among the young people who will soon become adults. Your work is especially important because you are inculcating an awareness of one’s roots, the core of a person’s consciousness, part of which is Slovenian. Through language lessons and cultural performances, you are bringing Slovenia closer to the people in Australia and building bridges between migrants and their native Slovenia. You are making more permanent the bond between people of the same nationality, who cannot even be divided by the oceans. At the time of publishing the Chronicle of Slovenian Schools and Teachers of Slovenian Language, I wish to thank you for everything that you have done throughout the years of teaching and active participation in preserving the Slovenian language and cultural identity of Slovenian compatriots.”