Federation Square Participation

During 2017 once more, Zenon Education made a point of taking part in the Annual Sister-Cities Anniversary Festival between Melbourne and Thessaloniki at Federation Square. There was plenty of food, plenty of fun and a large number of dancing groups taking part from the Greek community. As it can be seen from the photos, students who attended had a smile on their face in every photo and danced on stage to the music organised by their dancing instructor Maria Tsilfoglou. 

It was encouraging to see the young generation enjoying this event which marked 33 Years since the agreement was signed between the City of Melbourne and the City of Thessaloniki. A number of government and opposition Members of Parliament attended and promised stronger cultural and trade ties between Australia and Greece.

The day did not start very well weather wise, but in the end it was a glorious sunshine which pleased all those who attended. Zenon students first gathered in front of the Melbourne Town Hall at 1.00 pm with a band of musicians dancing their way along Swanston Street, towards Federation Square. When they all arrived, accompanied by live music the Festival commenced on the big stage. Parents, grandparents and Melburnians who attended clapped and encouraged the school children all along.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for our students, since they engaged with the Greek culture once more and took part in another Zenon school’s activity, placing them on the path of developing and enriching their identity.

Zenon Education would like to thank all parents who braved the early rainy weather and came along. We’re sure they were not disappointed. We’re sure that children will remember the day, full of positive cultural experiences. We hope you enjoy the photos below.

Community Languages Conference in Perth, WA

Mr F. Abubaker with Mrs A. Garivaldis

Zenon Education was represented at the annual National Community Languages Schools Conference 2017 in Australia which took part on Saturday 7th October 2017, in Perth.

The venue, a beautiful building of the Catholic Archdiocese of Western Australia housed the conference which was attended by a large number of contingents of many language school representatives around the country. More than 200 delegates took part and were involved in speeches covering the future of language learning in Australia, as well as workshops.

Mr S. Romaniw with Mrs A. Garivaldis

From Zenon the Principal Mrs Andrea Garivaldis and Vice-Principal Mr Iakovos Garivaldis were present and acquired valuable information in language teaching initiatives and practices by other community language schools.

The speech which stood out was the by Prof Joseph Lo Bianco who analysed the importance of language learning for Australian students, noting that policies in Australia lagged behind the European models, especially those in the Scandinavian countries where students learn three languages from the Primary school concurrently and become fluent in all. He also noted that it is not hard at all for students to learn a second or third language for that matter and the benefits are positively affecting their memory, decision making, focus, awareness as well as preventing dementia in the later part of their lives.

Another important presenter was that of Sue Hanson, a Linguist of Aboriginal background, who has been researching Aboriginal languages in Australia for decades, saying that there are more than 85 Aboriginal languages in the country.

Zenon representatives also had the opportunity to meet with Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM, Executive Director, Community Languages Australia and Fahry Abubaker official at Community Languages Australia both of whom have been very helpful to Zenon’s needs in the past. In the photos, Mrs A. Garivaldis at the venue, meeting both Mr S. Romaniw OAM and F. Abubaker.

Present at the Conference and one of the Keynote speakers was the Minister for Education and Training in Western Australia, The Hon. Sue Ellery MLC who provided information about the importance the WA Government is placing on language education.