As a child of a Italian migrants I started school not speaking English and as I progressed through high school lost my capacity to speak Italian. I did not value it until adulthood when I went to University and realised the importance of language. I travelled to Italy to study Italian and rediscovered the love of the language. It helped me find my cultural identity as an Australian of Italian heritage.
Ghina Makari is the Acting Manager of the Strategic Campaigns team within the Communications Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Ghina is an Honours graduate from the University of Canberra and is a highly experienced communication and marketing professional with 13 years' industry experience. Ghina has successfully delivered numerous large scale campaigns, events and initiatives within both the private and public sector. On a personal level Ghina is cultured, well-travelled and speaks three languages (English, Arabic and French). One language is her native tongue, one was acquired as a child and the third was a passion project.
For Bernardo a passionate language teacher made all the difference.
Auslan Training Organisation
Certified Practicing Accountant with many years working in accounts and finance, I am currently working at Multicultural Arts Victoria, a Victoria's not for profit arts organisation promoting cultural diversity in the arts. MAV promotes cultural diversity in the arts, representing artists and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Shortly after migrating to Australia, my family found that we are very fortunate to be part of a very diverse community of different people, different cultures that we share and learn from each other. We love this Victorian multicultural society.
Brianna learnt German in Australia - and is now living and working as a translator in Berlin - one of the world's coolest cities.
Miranda, Australian supermodel, is also a star of advertising in Japan - in Japanese.
Sandra Bullock is Hollywood's highest earning female star. She's also an Oscar winner and a real language champion.
Mila Kunis - TV and film star is also bilingual.
Rita Ora - global popstar with her huge hits, 'How we do', 'RIP' and 'I will never let you down' is bilingual and proud of it.
Dami Im took on Australia's X Factor and won with her amazing voice. She is also bilingual!
Athanassia became interested in languages at 13 years of age when she moved to Australia from Greece. She quickly learned English and became one of the top students in the school as well as Headgirl.
Bethwyn Joy Chigwada
Learning another language means learning another way to view the world. When I began learning German as a second language, I learnt so much more than words. I grew in appreciation for culture, history and grammar. I became more aware of my own culture and privileged experience of speaking English as a first language. I learnt what it feels like to stumble and struggle through conversation. My current role involves close communication with CaLD communities. Learning a language has helped me understand their experience and treat them with respect. I celebrate cultural diversity and I believe learning even a phrase in someone else's culture can go a long way in building trust and friendship. Additionally, I've recently married a man from Zimbabwe. His native tongue is Shona. We are current based in Australia and I believe it is important to preserve his culture and one way of doing this is through language.
I am a passionate advocate of bilingualism. I am the founder coordinator of a mobile library for Bangla books in Melbourne - it's called the Victorian Bangla Mobile Library. I am an accredited professional interpreter and translator of Bangla and English, and I write blogs in both languages. I am on my mission to motivate my community to appreciate the gift of bilingualism, and to appreciate the multicultural environment we live in. I am also the secretary of a community organization titled 'Porobashi Mon - Migrant Soul Inc' that works to promote our language and culture and at the same time encourage our community to integrate with the mainstream Australian society while being proud of our ethnic origin. Professionally I am a tax accountant.
I'm Drisana Levitzke-Gray and I am the currently Young Australian of the Year, as well as being the Western Australian Young Australian of the Year. I'm Deaf and I grew up bilingual and bicultural with Auslan, Australian Sign Language, being my first language and English my second. I have lived in 3 different continents and have a number of signed languages up my sleeve. I am an active member of the Deaf community and everyday I promote and raise awareness about the beautiful language that is Auslan and how every Australians should embrace and cherish it as their language, after all the name says it all, Australian Sign Language, the language that belongs to all Australians.
Received primary and secondary school education in Tamil, moved onto pursue higher studies in English and worked in Sinhalese language in Universities. Speak Sinhalese at home. Lived in New Zealand since 1995, moved to Australia in 2001 and use English as the primary language of communication since 1995. Fluent in all three languages.
As far as I can remember, I have always like foreign languages- languages are not only a way of communication but a rich approach to a different culture-a land- our origins- and identity. I was born in Belgium-my parents have immigrated in Belgium from Italy-Dutch and French are spoken in Belgium. I have always used my different languages at work and personal life with family and friends coming from different background. I have immigrated in Australia 6 years ago and became a citizen last year. I have worked within a tourism Association for 3 years and have used those languages whenever needed. The interaction with visitors becomes more intimate and speaking their words gives them more confidence in their requests. I have also organised a couple of multicultural events , and got sponsored by the city of Busselton to organize 'Harmony day' this year, recruiting volunteers to cook dishes from their country of origin, we had many different nationalities present with a stall at the Dunsborough Playing field, as well as a multicultural soccer game. It was a fantastic day full of diveristy and different languages spoken. I would like to learn other languages such as Noongar Language and Indonesian. I am not sure what an Ambassador does exactly but I am happy to help empathizing languages.
John AKuot Aciek
I know how to write and speak my mother Language which is Dinka very well and I have MBA and bachelor degree in Economic and all studies were done in English so in summary, I know how to speak and write in English very well. Also, I could speak some oral Arabic and Kiswahili as well. I am a very passionate languages lover, I which I knew more. To know your mother language is part of your own-self, but to know other language is a blessing and opportunity for one to open many doors in life.
Filipino (Philippines) is my first language but I grew up learning English as well. In university, I studied Spanish for 1 year, though Filipino already has a lot of Tagalised Spanish. After university, I studied Japanese, including reading and writing their alphabet and characters. After 1 year, I lived in Japan for 3.5 years. I was a computer programmer so I also learned various programming languages. After 20 years in programming, I now teach Filipino here in Perth WA, the first and only since the 80's. I feel so happy, honoured and proud in my newly found passion.