Message from the President
Maintaining one’s identity in a new country of residency is very important, whilst integrating in a diverse society is just as important. Hindi is the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese. Emigration of Indians to Australia has progressively been on the increase over the past four decades, and exponentially in the last two. The need to maintain Hindustani Language, Indian Culture, Indian Traditions, and Indian Values have also increased. To meet these demands, Queensland Association of Hindustani Language School, Culture & Welfare was established in 1992. Initially, our aim was to teach communicative Hindi Language and Indian Culture. It was our vision that we should maintain our mother tongue, Hindi (or Hindustani), and the Indian Culture here in Australia. Our aim was also to promote our culture into the wider Australian community, thus promoting cultural integration and diversity. In 1992, the school commenced with only twenty-seven (27) students in the one centre in Boondall, and then quickly expanded to five other centres, by public demand – Rochedale, Cannon Hill, Camira, Sunnybank, and Ferny Hills. For the best part of 1993 to 2002 our student turnover had been around 130 per year. Because we could not sustain the availability of teachers in all the centres, we decided to consolidate the school program in two major centres – Boondall on the North side and Rochedale on the Southside, for the convenience of everyone. To ensure that all centres teach the same material, a proper curriculum was prepared in 1993/94, which has since been accepted by Education Queensland and by the Community Language Element of the Federal Government.
Since the acceptance of the curriculum, Hindi can now be taught in the mainstream schools as a language subject, provided there are sufficient number of students to participate. Students studying for HSC can now take Hindi as one of the language subjects. The curriculum for this program will need to satisfy the guidelines of the Board of Secondary Schools. Also, University of Queensland is offering a degree course in Hindi Language. The current curriculum delivers up to Level 6 where students are able to fluently speak in Hindi at home and at public functions, write articles in newsletters & newspapers, read books and religious scriptures written in Hindi, and sing ‘bhajans’ & ‘kirtans’ etc. Teachers and parents run this program totally on a voluntary basis. As of recent, some teachers are being paid. Teaching of any one religion has purposely been kept out of the school curriculum because, we believe, worshipping is a person’s own individual right. However, we do provide the background of every major religion to students, so that they can learn to respect the traditions and cultures of people from different ethnicity and different faith. Resources for the school are bought from a small grant which the Federal Government provides but it is not sufficient to run such a big program and so efficiently. As from 1998, the State Government has also decided to follow suite of other southern states and is now contributing to the grant. Education Queensland also provides professional development courses for our teachers, arranges the use of State Schools on weekends, and subscribes for public liability insurance. Often parents get together to raise additional funds to meet the ever increasing costs. Apart from teaching language and culture, our school also grooms students in Leadership, Personal Development, Public Speaking, Interview Skills, etc. As a result, many of our students have be selected in leadership roles of School Captains, Prefects, and Class Captains in their respective mainstream schools, both at primary and at secondary levels, and other leadership roles in the community. Many students have also excelled in stage shows, mainly with old and modern Indian Cultural contents. These students are now performing professionally at major functions and venues. We have laid a strong foundation for the future generations. It is now the responsibility of the current generation to impart the knowledge which they have gained to their children who will be the citizens of tomorrow.
PRESIDENT (Since inception in 1992)