A celebration of languages at IGS

IGS hosted a special Farewell Assembly in honour of our former long-serving Director of Languages Rosalba Genua-Petrovic.

Year 12 Language Leader Charlotte Waley welcomed everyone to the special assembly.

“My passion for languages blossomed in my preschool Italian class, and as I grew up, I fell in love with not only the Italian language but how learning languages at IGS interconnects us with each other and the the world,” Charlotte said.

Charlotte welcomed other Language students to the stage to speak on why learning a language at IGS is important to them, before giving a farewell message to Rosalba.

“Although this assembly is a celebration of language, it is also bittersweet, as we thank and say goodbye to an extremely important member of the school community.

“I remember being in Prof Genua’s Italian class in Year 6 and being inspired by her fervent passion for languages and teaching, I wouldn’t be the student I am today if it weren’t for her.

“On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank Ms Genua for all she has done for IGS and recognise that she has left an indelible mark on the school community.

“I would like to stress just how important it is to take advantage of the incredible language opportunities at IGS and to foresee them for your entire high school experience.

“Our cultural differences make us unique and special, and the beauty of finding empowerment through embracing diversity is immeasurable.”

Please also enjoy Year 12 students Nell Brennan and Annabel Johnson’s  description of the value of the IGS language exchange programs. 

Buongiorno a tutti. 

Mi chiamo Nell Brennan e questo è la mia amica, Annabel Johnson e siamo studentesse del anno dodici. Oggi vi parleremo della nostra esperienza dello scambio. 

Good morning, everyone. 

My name is Nell Brennan and this is my friend, Annabel Johnson, and we are Year 12 students. Today, we will be speaking to you about our experience when taking part in the Student Exchange this year. 

From late June to early August, several IGS students, including ourselves, in Years 10 and 11 welcomed students from Italy, France, Spain, and Germany into their homes to give them an insight into how we live our lives in Australia, our history, and our language.

We took them all around Sydney, some of us even venturing beyond NSW and by the end of their visit, had formed strong friendships with each and every one of these students.

Saying goodbye to our Exchange students was incredibly hard after spending these six weeks in each others’ company, however, we are looking forward to seeing them again and making new memories in their home countries. 

Taking part in our school’s Exchange Program and welcoming students from all over the world was indeed the opportunity of a lifetime. We are both very grateful for the time that we have spent with our new friends and for the unforgettable memories that we have made. From getting lost in the middle of the city, to watching them fight over who has the better recipes, there was never a dull moment.

To say that we are grateful for the opportunities that the IGS Exchange Program has brought us would be an understatement and we would like to say a big thank you to Prof Genua who organised these trips and made this surreal experience possible for all of us. 

Partaking in Exchange allowed us to broaden our understanding of languages and how lifestyles can differ across the globe. We encourage you all to partake in the exchange no matter how experienced you are in the language.

It truly is an unforgettable experience and a great way to close up the year.

Thank you!

A short history of leading languages at IGS

“Listening to all of you speak in the different languages WOW ! Amazing! I feel so proud!” said Head of Languages Junior School Vilma Rotellini.

“Today, really is a celebration of languages. Something wonderful began in 1984. A school was founded where all students had the opportunity to learn a second language and a third.

“When the school began there was no one really leading the languages. Kathy Kerestes was our first Director of Languages followed by Robyn Maloney.

“Rosalba began as Italian teacher in 1989 and later took on the role as Director of languages for 13 years.

“Rosalba, your role as Director was essential in reinforcing and further developing all aspects of the languages program, and leading the languages team, from Early Learning to Year 12. Including linguists, teachers, educators and assistants, we have about 45 staff in our faculty.

“During your time as Director you have been a major contributor in helping establish and further developing what is now a unique languages program, one which your successor can confidently continue to build on.

“Rosalba, you have already started a new life beyond IGS and on behalf of all of the IGS community thank you for your contribution and the enormous impact you have made and know that it is recognized and will be honored for years to come.

“And we wish you lots of joy and happiness in all that comes your way.”

Enjoy the farewell video below!

Fare well, Rosalba, and thank you in every language!