Friday, November 18, 2011

Multilingual Interactive Artwork for Civic Square

Since late 2010, CMCF has been following up ideas from the community about installing a permanent artwork to highlight the central role of languages spoken and used in the ACT during the city’s centenary in 2013.
As noted in an earlier post, the aim is to celebrate languages of the past as well as the vibrant multicultural present (170 languages are used in ACT homes according to the 2006 ABS census). It will also symbolize the ongoing and future importance of language skills for a city that interacts with the world through its residents as well as international visitors, delegations and diplomatic missions.  
Civic Square has been identified as an ideal location, where several cultural institutions meet the city and the government, and where the multicultural centre is located. In partnership with the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs, CMCF has organized a meeting with selected stakeholders, including representatives from ACT planning bodies and institutions and businesses around Civic Square, to discuss the overall concept, plans for selecting the final design, and possible sites for the artwork.
Designs for the artwork will be called for after the meeting. In broad terms, we envisage a visually appealing artwork, incorporated into an existing building or structure, and involving sound, for example the voices of Canberrans speaking various languages, possibly with an associated web presence. The final brief for artists will, however, depend on input from stakeholders at the meeting. 
One we have an idea of the design - hopefully by early 2012 - we will be looking for sponsors. We anticipate the project will be mainly funded by the community, including the diplomatic and business community, as part of their gift for Canberra’s centenary.
Like to get involved?  Contact the CMCF Languages Advisor at
Want to be kept informed of progress on the project? Watch this space!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

From Dutch Language News, May 2011

1. Jongerenborrel Canberra

De Jongerenborrel or 'DE BORREL' is a monthly get together for everyone who wants to learn and practise Dutch in the ACT.

Eerste donderdag van de maand (the first Thursday of the month) everyone is welcome to the Porkbarrel on King George Terrace, Parkes opposite of Old Parliament House, Parkes, ACT from 6pm until 8pm. Many tend to come before 6pm to enjoy the great food served at this restaurant.

For more information email Irmina on or just come along and join in on the fun!

2. Dutch language in Australia

Recently the Dutch language in Australia has been under fire and, even though there appears to be plenty of interest in learning this language, there is little information on where and how to.

In order to improve the flow of information, an overview of the number of Dutch teachers in Australia is being made and an assessment of their availability and level of teaching will be conducted. If you are interested in teaching Dutch or have any information that might be useful regarding this topic please send an email to

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have you say on the national curriculum for languages

The draft ‘shape’ paper for the new national curriculum for languages is now available (see The paper discusses key concepts in learning languages, the range of learners, and possible pathways for learning; and outlines how curriculum and achievement standards may be organised.

Educators, parents, students, and members of the wider community are invited to read the paper and provide comments via an online questionnaire before 8 April (see web address above). These comments will be considered when finalizing the paper, which will then guide the development of the languages curriculum for children studying in Australia from Kindergarten level to Year 12.  

All interested are also welcome to attend a meeting at the University of Canberra to further explore the paper and share your views with others.

When?  7pm Thursday 31 March 2011.  

Please contact or on 0408 089 235 to confirm your attendance and/or for more information.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Languages for all Canberrans

This discussion paper will form the basis of a whole-of-government language policy for the ACT.  It recognises Canberra as a multilingual city and the importance of both English and other languages for all. The paper also makes commitments about language rights and language services as well as language teaching and learning and community language maintenance.

It is important for all interested in languages to send feedback on the paper to the ACT government – to show our interest, congratulate the government on the parts we agree with, and suggest what could be added or explained more clearly. Please consider commenting directly to the government (see for copy of the paper and addresses for feedback). Deadline for feedback is 28 February.

All are also welcome to come along to a public meeting to explore and respond to the discussion paper: Thursday 17 February, 6.30-8.30pm at ANU or Sunday 20 February, 2-4pm, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Civic.

Contact for details.