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ABC College Opening Speech​

ABC College Opening Speech

We acknowledge that we are meeting on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. 

Michael Paech, Principal of Concordia College, St. John’s campus

Jodie Escott, Director of community relations

Steve Eden, Head of international student programs

Dr Peter Mickan, Visiting research fellow (PHD supervisor in Applied Linguistics and Education) University of Adelaide

Invited guests and most especially parents and students of abc College

I am proud to welcome you to the next era of the abc College

The college was started 4 years ago as an extension of my master’s studies and a commitment to see young Chinese people master the language of their family heritage.

As a young migrant to Australia 14 years ago, I embarked on an amazing journey to establish a new life in a foreign country, to seek to further my knowledge and understanding of the greater world and how I fitted in.

To be successful in this journey I realised how important it is to be secure in who I was and where I came from!

When I landed as a skilled migrant with 3.5 years of teaching Chinese to senior expat overseas executives in Shanghai, I knew no one and little about the culture I was eventually to call my home.

The homestay family I stayed with for my first two weeks in Adelaide spoke Cantonese a Chinese dialect I had no knowledge of. To survive and communicate effectively with my host family I taught myself to speak basic Cantonese. And that experience in acquiring language skill allows me to make friends, to help people and to understand the importance of cultural diversity even within my own cultural community.

This led me to understand what opportunities the mastering of language could offer and I wanted to share this with other young people.

My commitment to sharing my experience has brought me here today.

I feel very grateful and that as I seek to broaden my experience to learn and advance my teaching practice, that Concordia College has also graciously supported my efforts by welcoming the college as part of their school community.

Together we can build and expand the contribution that the Chinese community makes, by developing strong and personally confident young individuals that value who they are, where their heritage lies and how they can help develop and maintain a culturally rich Australia and global community.

I would now like to invite Michael Paech, principal of Concordia College St John’s Campus to officially open the abc College at Concordia College.

finally I really want to thank the parents who have believed and trusted in us with your children to deliver a program with us based on our personal teaching beliefs and educational methodologies.

In closing I want to thank our great and committed teaching and administration team who are dedicated to the ongoing development of a program that truly equips young people to live and learn Chinese. Without them there is no abc college.

Please also stay tuned for the next development in the teaching and learning experience with the soon to be launched abc college online portal. This will be a an extension of face to face Learning through enhanced blended technology based methodologies.

Parents and friends, you are invited for a tour of the school at the close of proceedings. Steve Eden (standing over here) will conduct the tour.

Thank you for coming and enjoy your afternoon.

August 17, 2023