The Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (AFMLTA) and the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU) are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2023 Patji Dawes Language Teaching Award is Matthew Absalom, Lecturer in Italian Studies, School of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne.
Matthew was nominated by his student, Margaret Oravecz, who commented: “Matt’s classes catapulted me into a new world of language learning. He engendered trust in his unique approach with his enthusiasm, energy and engaging manner.” She also said, in relation to his approach: “Through storytelling, reading and reflection, I embarked on the most transformative language experience of my life.”
The Patji-Dawes award honours outstanding achievements in teaching languages other than English in Australia. The name of the award commemorates the earliest documented language education partnership in Australia’s history: that between young Indigenous woman Patyegarang (Patye or Patji, pronounced Pat-chee) and Lieutenant William Dawes.
The Patji-Dawes award was an initiative of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), developed as part of the Outreach program, which included a commitment to improving levels of multilingualism and accomplishment of additional languages in Australia, through understanding and public debate on how we learn and teach languages effectively.
Throughout the years of CoEDL, the award was supported and sponsored by AFMLTA and LCNAU. With CoEDL now concluded, the AFMLTA and LCNAU have proudly assumed responsibility for continuing the award, to recognise teachers of languages.
The award will be conferred on Sunday, 9 July 2023 at the 24th
AFMLTA International Languages Conference to be held at Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA.