On Wednesday, November 14, CO.AS.IT. hosted the Italian Awards Night at the Italian Cultural Centre in Leichhardt.
The event celebrates those students who have excelled in the study of Italian language and culture throughout 2018.
Hundreds of students of Italian and non-Italian background who study Italian travelled from across NSW to attend the event with their families.
The event was hosted by CO.AS.IT. General Manager, Thomas Camporeale, who recognised the contribution of the Italian government, including the Italian Consulate in Sydney and the Italian Embassy in Canberra, and the NSW Department of Education, Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Education Office, in supporting the promotion of Italian language and culture in this state.
“This event could not be possible without the support of the Italian government and the NSW government, who work tirelessly to ensure that the study of Italian language and culture continues in NSW,” Camporeale said.
President of CO.AS.IT., Lorenzo Fazzini, opened proceedings by extending a warm welcome to all the teachers, students and their families.
Fazzini is the driving force behind all the good work at CO.AS.IT.
He then highlighted special guests in attendance including Italian Consul General Arturo Arcano, Senator Francesco Giacobbe, members of the CO.AS.IT. Board, Julius Larobina of Rete Italia, Il Globo & La Fiamma, Armando Tornari of La Fiamma, Stefano Laface of Il Gruppo dell’amicizia in memoria di Enrica Inglese and Jennifer McKeown of St Thomas Willoughby.
He also welcomed the Member for Fairfield, Guy Zangari, who was present as a proud parent.
Zangari’s son attends the CO.AS.IT. Out of School Hours program and was receiving an award.
“I would like to thank the Italian Consul General, Dott. Arturo Arcano, who works tirelessly supporting Italians on many fronts and is an avid promoter of the study of Italian language and culture in Australia,” Fazzini said.
“I would also like to thank Senator Giacobbe, who supports the teaching of Italian language and culture in Australia and has come all the way from Rome to participate in tonight’s presentation.
“Tonight we celebrate the achievements of our students of Italian who have worked diligently in our various Italian programs, including our Out of School Hours program, our Italian Bilingual School and our IBS Secondary program.
“We also celebrate the success of our highest achieving HSC students of Italian.”
The study of the Italian language continues to grow in popularity in Australia, with the high number of attendees at the awards night testifying to this.
“For the academic year 2016/2017, Australia has the highest number of students studying Italian in the world,” Sara Villella, Learning Services Manager at CO.AS.IT. said.
“Italian is the second most studied second language in government and non-government schools and the 4th most studied language at HSC level.”
The awards ceremony commenced with the CO.AS.IT. Italian Competition Awards “Un viaggio tra I ricordi” (“A trip down memory lane”).
The competition was open to students from kindergarten all the way up to Year 12.
Seventeen students were recognised with merit awards and seventeen students were named winners in their category.
The next awards were the Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Student Achievement.
The Community Languages Schools honour the achievements of outstanding students from community languages schools.
CO.AS.IT. students who study Italian in the Out of School Hours (OSH) Program are eligible to be nominated for an award.
This year sixteen OSH students were recognised for their efforts.
Three students received Commended Awards at a ceremony in October; Ava Bary of Oatley Primary, Elianna Di Prinzio of Meadowbank Primary and Daphne Tortora of Prestons Primary.
Thirteen other students received Merit certificates.
An emotional moment of the night was the Year 6 graduating class of the Italian Bilingual School.
The Italian Bilingual School started in Leichhardt and was the first Italian Bilingual School in Australia.
It has now moved to Meadowbank and has been operating for over 15 years.
The graduation awards were followed by the CELI awards (Certificati di Conoscenza della Lingua Italiana).
CELI are Italian Language Certification exams devised by the Università per Stranieri di Perugia.
They are compliant with the European standards set by the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) and Common European Framework for Languages (CEF).
They are recognised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Ministry of Education & Research (foreigners with CELI 3 certificate can enrol in Italian universities, CELI 5 allows teachers to teach in Italian schools).
CELI is equivalent to certificates awarded by prestigious European institutions (e.g. Cambridge University).
A notable mention must go to Christian Cipriano and Federica Milazzo who were both awarded CELI 3a.
Next we had the Excellence in HSC – 26th Annual awards.
NESA (formerly BOSTES) recognises the excellent work of students in each subject area.
This is called the Top Achievers list and consists of the first five students in the course.
These are the first five students in Beginners, Continuers and Extension Italian in 2017.
ILTA (Italian Language Teachers Association) awards the first in each course.
Every year the excellent results of students studying Italian in each of the three HSC courses are acknowledged at a special presentation.
The two students who topped the rankings included Sophie Jane Shuttleworth of Queenwood School for Girls, ranked first in Italian Beginners and Ines Francesca of Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy, ranked first in Italian Continuers and Italian Extension.
The final award for the night was the Enrica Inglese Award.
This award was introduced in 2017.
The award is in memory of Enrica Inglese who passed away two years ago.
She was an advocate for the study of Italian in this state.
She also taught Italian for CO.AS.IT. for many years.
She was a dear friend, supporter and ambassador of the Italian language in Australia.
Following her passing, the Il Gruppo dell’Amicizia in Memoria di Enrica Inglese foundation was established in her honour.
Like CO.AS.IT., the objective of the foundation is to promote and encourage the study of Italian.
This year the award has extended into a new category.
The award is for students who have consistently demonstrated a commitment and an aptitude for the language and who are encouraged to continue their study of Italian.
The foundation asked CO.AS.IT. to nominate students to receive generous prizes and sponsorship.
Rete Italia, La Fiamma and Il Gruppo dell’Amicizia offer scholarships in memory of Enrica Inglese.
Scholarships are awarded to five primary and five secondary school students, alongside encouragement awards.
“I congratulate the inspirational teachers of CO.AS.IT. and the teachers in all NSW schools who support students in their learning of Italian language and culture,” Fazzini said.
“Teachers are the key to making children learn and I commend each and every one of you for your excellent work.
“I would like to thank all parents and extended families for their commitment to ensuring that children are encouraged to study Italian language and culture.
“Without your support children would not continue to learn and grow in their discovery of the world.
“Congratulations to all award recipients and their families.”