The next generation to lead global change

11 January 2021
Languages are a critical element of secondary schooling, but pressures on Australia’s teachers can limit opportunities for global exploration and cultural understanding. 

With the support of a visionary philanthropic donor, the UQ-MLTAQ (Modern Language Teacher’s Association of Queensland) Language Travel Scholarships were established to:

  • enhance outstanding Queensland secondary school teachers’ knowledge and experiences; and
  • benefit the next generation with heightened international nous for their professional careers. 

Scholarship recipient Mary Spinella, a French teacher at All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast, travelled to New Caledonia, seeking to create a dynamic sustainability unit for her students, while also strengthening All Saints’ relationship with their sister school.

“How awesome would it be to have language students discussing real world problems and solutions with native speakers?” says Spinella. 

Spinella’s experience included time studying at the Centre de Rencontres et d’Echanges Internationaux du Pacifique (CREIPAC) to develop linguistics around sustainability, followed by time based at The College Sacré Coeur, an ‘eco-collège’ and All Saints’ sister school. 

The scholarship helped Spinella bolster her French language skills and build the foundation of a dynamic, collaborative sustainability unit to bring back to students on the Gold Coast. 

Spinella said this philanthropic scholarship support has been invaluable in improving her students’ outcomes. 

“Your generosity and consideration of the need of language teachers to continue to develop their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge is truly insightful and will benefit students of languages in concrete ways,” says Spinella.