It is my turn to welcome you all into the new academic year and wish you a productive 2018, full of new teaching and learning encounters!
I would like to thank my beloved and highly respected colleague, Eleni Papagiannopoulou, for her introduction and welcoming wishes. It is my pleasure and honour to take over from Eleni and my previous colleagues seconded by the Ministry of Education in Greece, and build on their tireless efforts to support Greek language learning and teaching in NSW schools.
During my first day at the office of the Learning and Teaching Directorate of the NSW Department of Education I had the pleasure to meet a number of colleagues including members of the primary and secondary teams. I especially thank Amanda Davis, Nina Conomos, Dominic Crisafulli and Vera Szyjan for their warm welcome, Nina Conomos, in particular, for taking the time to introduce me to so many colleagues, and Dominic Crisafulli for generously offering valuable information on work-related and technical issues.
As a newly seconded teacher from Greece, I have noted a number of different providers for the teaching of the Greek language, from government and religious institutions to communities, associations and private institutes. The existence of all the different providers as well as their contributions and the individual contributions of all language teachers are positive aspects for the learning and teaching of Greek. Today, I invite us all to an even more close and fruitful collaboration for the benefit of many more generations of Greek language learners. For speaking Greek in addition to English, just as speaking any additional language, can be enriching not only for one’s own understanding of one’s roots but for one’s more versatile perspective on life, on others and on one’s own self.
Welcome to 2018,
Dr Maria Harissi