DEDICATION to raising the profile of Indonesian language and culture has earned a Trinity College Colac teacher a national award.
Indonesian language teacher Elana Cole has won 2014’s Australian Indonesian Language Teacher of the Year for her commitment to teaching the language and her enthusiasm in organising activities to develop student interest in the subject.
Deakin University’s Faculty of Arts and Education will present the award to Ms Cole on November 21 at a ceremony in Melbourne, and will include a return trip for two to Jakarta.
Ms Cole said she had been runner-up twice and was excited about winning the prestigious award.
“It is wonderful, it is a reflection of what the kids do for me, I am facilitator of the group, the most talented bunch of students, they are the ones that win it for me,” Ms Cole said.
“We win a lot of language competitions and are involved in a lot of partnerships including with Melbourne Zoo and sustainability groups, talking about deforestation in Indonesia,” she said.
“We have won a lot of resources and opportunities with native speakers.”
Ms Cole said learning Indonesian in a rural school provided challenges, and she organised opportunities for students to “explore extra-curricular activities” to help make their language studies relevant to them.
“It is not hard to get involved, it just takes some time and some weekends and some facilitation, but it’s good,” Ms Cole said.
“Indonesian is a priority language for the Australian Government, they are our neighbours,” she said.
“All this is, is opening doors for the kids, I just document things that they do, the kids here are right into it.”
Ms Cole said 2014 had been a “massive year” for her, after winning an Indonesian Independence Day scholarship program, which included a trip to Canberra to attend the commemoration of the 69th Indonesian Independence Day in August.