Good morning everyone and welcome to the Globalisation Assembly – a celebration of the many languages and diverse cultures that we have here in Victoria and I extend a particular welcome to those that we are lucky enough to study here at Marcellin.
We are gathered here today to celebrate the achievements and life changing journeys of many of the students across Italian, Chinese and Indonesian, as well as to discuss the nature of the changing world and the significant role languages can play in people’s lives.
My personal language journey started in year 7, where I studied Indonesian and Italian. Being of an Italian family, I always knew that would be the language I continued studying. I came to a crossroads at the start of year 10, not knowing if I wanted to continue with my studies of a language, I decided to stick with it because of the diversity it would allow in my schooling life and because of the calibre of the program here at the college. This decision gave me great opportunities, both scholastically and terms of my life beyond the college. I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 Visual Arts and Languages Educational Tour of Italy, which was a fantastic experience for me and really changed my perspective on life and what my future holds. If you are in any way interested in travelling, immersing yourself in another culture or learning a new language, I urge you to feed your curiosity as I can say with absolute certainty that it will not be a decision you regret.
We are gathered here today to discuss what makes this so relevant to our changing world, globalisation. Increasingly, throughout the world we are seeing nations become more interconnected and attempting to come together to build bridges across borders and language barriers. With the landscape of the working environment changing the workplaces many of you will find yourselves at over the next 30 or 40 years will be looking to recruit people with critical thinking skills, creativity and interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate in more than one language is therefore an asset which many businesses would look favorably on as it allows you to be able to communicate with others overseas, strengthening business relations globally. The ability to communicate with others also allows you more flexibility in your life, being able to traverse more comfortably across the world and having more options when considering a place to live. For me this has been made real as my older brother has the ability to go to Italy through his University and complete a three-week unit running there, an opportunity that he would never have had if he had not made the decision to continue with his study of Italian.
Through technology the world of communication is changing, meaning that we are able to speak to people from all across the globe instantly, however with this the art of forming personal connections with others through our interaction is being lost. Here at Marcellin however, we are fostering it through our encouragement of language and increased emphasis on its importance in our schooling lives moving forward. This is especially relevant in Australia, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse, with over 7 million of us with our heritage in migrants who have arrived here post 1945.
To me, globalisation is about connecting with other cultures, understanding them, appreciating them and enjoying many of the positive aspects that they bring to the community. The ability to communicate is therefore vital to be able to appreciate cultural differences and the uniqueness that different cultures bring with them. I would like to finish by echoing the words of Mr Murphy from a few years ago, “If you speak to a man in a language he understands, you speak with his brain, but if you speak to a man in his own language, you speak to his heart."
2019 Languages Captain