Slovenian Language in Australia

Slovenian language was initially maintained within the family, circle of friends and in religious centres and clubs. Slovenian monthly journals also contributed to the continuity of language use.

The first Slovenian language class was established in 1960 at the Religious and Cultural Centre in Melbourne. Other clubs began to provide classes for the children of members. Beside the language lessons children rehearsed songs and folk-dances for cultural events.

The great breakthrough occurred in 1976 with the introduction of Slovenian as an elective secondary school subject in Saturdays School of Modern Languages. Slovenian began with six classes in three SSML centres. By 1979 Slovenian was accredited as a Year 12 HSC subject, a consequently prerequisite for university entrance.

Slovenian Education Associations

In 1976 as part of the activities of organizing teachers, students and classes to begin in 1977 school year, the Slovenian Teachers Association of Victoria was founded, with twenty members. Its mission was establishment, maintenance of Slovenian language. It provided teacher professional development, language resources and curricula.

In the eighties Slovenian Arts Society was established for sharing creative work and exchanging ideas. Slovenian Language Teachers, Parents and Students Association was established in 1988 to involve parents with education of their children.

Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria was established in 1998, reconstituted from STAV. Its mission was broadened to promote Slovenian language and culture. It provides language and cultural resources on the web and supports intercultural projects. The platform is website

Victorian School of Languages

Till 1986 the school was known as Saturdays School of Modern Languages. in existence from 1934 and a Victorian institution. It became the vehicle for the educational needs of great waves of settlement from a great range national groups and a multicultural Australian society.

The history of formal teaching of Slovenian language in Australia - particularly in Melbourne is part of the history of VSL, its centres, education reforms and course development. The association with the school was particularly close. Most of the innovative curriculum work, for VCE and CSF courses was produced with a Slovenian model, subsequently used in course development sessions for other languages.

Victorian Secondary Certification Authorities

Victorian education authorities were responsible for educational standards reached at Year 12 level, and the examinations which also serve for enrollment in tertiary courses. The period from 1976 to 2007 has been a time of great changes and major reforms in education, and name changes of institutions indicated a change in responsibilities and tasks.

From 1976 a HSC or later VCE subject meant involvement with VUSEB, VISE, VCAB, BoS and VCAA. This meant dealing in turn with development of the course and assessment tools process of accreditation, review of the course, oral and written examinations, preparing and reviewing examination papers, assessment of classwork, VCE and CSF workshops and training sessions.

Members and Contributors

From the introduction of Slovenian language and its establishment and maintenance as a school and VCE subject, there were a great many individuals who contributed in a variety of ways to the realization of a successful integration.

Members of Slovenian community assisted in advertising and enrolment of the first classes. Friends from Slovenia, Trieste and USA assisted with ordering books, a number of individuals were prepared to take on the responsibility for teaching, the staff of the Saturday School of Modern Languages did everything to ensure an efficient induction and continuing smooth running of classes. So did the VUSEB and VISE staff, who took us through the stages of course development and accreditation.


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