The Confucius Institute at La Trobe University has a key strategic partnership with Charles La Trobe College (CLTC), supporting its Chinese language program through the provision of teacher support and complementary cultural programming, such as the annual China Day experience. The CLTC China Day this year, held on 22 April, marked an auspicious development, the unveiling of Charles La Trobe College's Confucius Classroom.
The Principal of CLTC Mr Jason Bek welcomed the guests and thanked the support of Hanban and the Confucius Institute of La Trobe University.
Dignitaries from the federal parliament, the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Melbourne, and La Trobe University attended the official launch of the Confucius Classroom:
Mr Yumin Song, the Chinese Consul General, noted "Chinese language has become an integral part of the Victorian community and great achievements have been made in Chinese language learning and teaching. La Trobe University is one of the greatest contributors to this achievement."
This sentiment was supported by the Federal Government representative attending the launch, Senator Scott Ryan. He noted the importance of China as a trading partner for Australia and the necessity for cultural understanding to underpin and support this relationship.
The Confucius Classrooms program is funded by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and is administered by a state-based Confucius Institute. The CLTC Confucius Classroom is the first Classroom launched by the Confucius Institute at La Trobe University. The primary objective of the Confucius Classroom is to promote Chinese language and cultural education in primary and secondary schools. Programming is expected to include exchange opportunities and outreach to the local community.
Professor Jane Long, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President at La Trobe University, noted in her official launch speech that good global citizenship is about building strong, lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships. She hailed the Confucius Classroom as a wonderful example of what such partnerships can achieve.
Following the official launch of the Confucius Classroom at Charles La Trobe College, over six hundred students from Prep to Year 12 enjoyed a full day's programming of China cultural activities including Chinese performing arts, art appreciation and practice, intellectual and physical games, and food tasting.
The Confucius Institute at La Trobe University will jointly launch two additional Confucius Classrooms in June this year with school partners Camberwell Grammar School and Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School.