‘I’m a very proud Australian, especially when I got my citizenship,” he said. “I was incredibly proud to raise the Australian flag on my motorboat, to stand up when the anthem was played after an Australian won.
“Australia is a really special place, this is my country, my big and strong country and I am a very, very proud Australian, everywhere I go I am always representing the country,” said Kovalenko. “Whatever I am doing I am representing the team and Australia and that is a big responsibility, some people only ever meet an Australian once in their life so you need to remember that and show how good we are, how kind Australians are.
Originally from the Ukraine, Kovalenko and his family moved to Australia in 1997, having been recruited to the position of coach for the Australian men’s and women’s 470 classes. Before taking on the role he had been coach of the Ukrainian 470 classes, with the Ukraine winning a silver medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
After less than three years as the Australian 470 class coach, Kovalenko reversed the fortunes of Australia’s leading the women’s and men’s 470 crews, with each crew winning gold medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Following this success Kovalenko was elevated to Head Coach of the sailing program for the Athens 2004 Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Australia again had success at the top level under the guidance of Kovalenko in 2008, with Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page, and Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson, winning gold medals He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2013
Kovalenko was in charge of the Australia's sailing team at last year's London Olympics, with the squad winning three gold medals and a silver.
The Ukraine-born Kovalenko has coached the Australian team to five Olympic golds in total since 2000 and over 40 medals at the international level.
Testimonial "Language is important not only in my work by in people's lives in general. When I came here I had to learn English - It paved the way for me to be able to work and contribute to Australia . When travelling overseas its good know other languages as it paves the way for you to communicate and better particapte in the life around you" I encourage student to learn and maintain their mother tongue and if possible take on a third or fourth language You will be the winner !'""
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Daniel Ednie-Lockett is the founder of Language Connection, a not for profit which runs language exchanges and conferences for native speakers and learners of English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Daniel speaks fluent Japanese and Mandarin and has worked as a TV presenter in Mandarin in China for the last two years.
I began my career as a reporter on ABC Radio in Newcastle in 1994 before moving to SBS after winning a national scholarship. In 2001, I was approached to join the Nine Network as a reporter on National Nine News where I covered breaking news events such as the Waterfall train disaster and the historic Sydney Gang rape trial. I played a key role in the 2004 Athens Olympics coverage, where I reported for several news and current affairs programs from the Greek capital and across Europe. Upon my return I was appointed host of the Late News program Nightline. In addition to that role, I presented a weekly news segment on the Network's flagship current affairs program Sunday, alongside host Jana Wendt.
Maintaining language culture is very important not just to me but to all the diversity communities as well as the wider community of Australia, English is my second language, I understand the importance of it, not just in our everyday life but also in connecting with the world politicly, economically and other aspects, but to most of us this wouldn't slow us in maintaining our main language, the world of today is about creating and sharing we should all be proud of who we are and share our cultural across the world, but it all start with your own identity of where you come from, I believe maintaining language is important to achieve all the desire of making this world a better place.