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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 23 September 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2017 9 NEWS Eleni Glouftsis’ story is displayed at the ‘Game Changers: Diversity in Football’ exhibition. PHOTO: ADAM TRAFFORD/ AFL MEDIA Lin Jong the first Australian of East Timorese and Taiwanese descent to play in the AFL, his story is displayed at the ‘Game Changers: Diversity in Football’ exhibition. PHOTO: ADAM TRAFFORD/AFL MEDIA Students have the opportunity to experience the migration journey via hands-on learning. to Australia in search of a better future. What can the Immigration Museum offer to newly-arrived Greek immigrants and their children? What is important in this museum is that it offers the opportunity to reflect on the experiences of those who have moved from one homeland to another. Migration has been part of our history in Victoria since the 1830s. In this museum, we are offering opportunities to share stories because we believe that by sharing stories, you build strong communities and classroom communities. The Immigration Museum understands each new arrival to Victoria at one time experienced the loss of moving from a homeland and the appreciation and benefit of arriving in a new homeland. To have a family who has lived for many generations within the community share their story with a family that is newly arrived is a powerful connector, and it is that connector we build. Communities are stronger when there is a shared sense of experience. Those who have lived here for generations are the beneficiaries of the experiences our foremothers and fathers took on board. The ones who have just ar- rived have to be given the opportunity to see that it is possible to move on and share that. Sharing is how people can accept and belong, and it is belonging that is important in the communities that migration stories happen. We are not going to get benefits by putting up walls and making people feel they are the Other. We all need to feel that we are part of the continuum of this idea of movement, migration and mobility. Can the museum have a therapeutic effect when dealing with migration trauma? I think there is an opportunity for reflection. Individuals feel a great connection to a story they can see in the museum and that allows them to understand that their journey is not the only journey. The way we approach it from education, children can see how there are so many different layers of journeys in their classrooms. We are modelling inclusive behaviours and giving individuals in our community the space to tell their story. From an educational point of view, the role of education is about making the invisible visible by providing the opportunity for people to tell their story. One of the most powerful exhibitions we had at the museum this year was ‘They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention’. This exhibition was emblematic of the notion that if you give people the opportunity to tell their story, the humanity is exposed. The world is made richer if we ensure every individual's humanity is visible. It's those human stories that allow humanity to be revealed. We need to give people the opportunity to become visible. People do not become visible only by sharing migration stories. If you look at the museum's current ‘Game Changers’ exhibition, it is about football, IFL, and the women's league. How do you feel about Australia's decision to toughen the language requirements for obtaining a citizenship and the conversation around assimilation policies? It is so hard to answer. This is such a difficult question and it is such a problem. Language is so vital for connecting to our heritage, and the capacity for individuals to speak a language other than English in Australia is limited. To have a family that allows and offers the opportunity to speak in your family's mother tongue is a positive. How nation states manage the capacity to have a national language and promote other languages as part of the cultural mix is complex. The regeneration of First Peoples' languages in this country, and the fact that there were over 200 Indigenous languages spoken before colonisation shows how complicated it is to think about which language is promoted. We as a nation offer the opportunity for people to speak many languages and one (English) connects us and offers an opportunity for communication and social cohesion. However, you would never want one language to overwhelm and dominate because the consequences of that are too extreme to even consider. We are a world with many languages. We have to understand that those languages are important to maintaining culture, but we also have to understand that if we choose to live in a particular place, we have to make an attempt to participate in the lingua franca. Since we are both educators, I feel that my last question should be about children and their future. In a world that is constantly changing and becoming even more globalised, many believe that intercultural education is often used only as a buzzword, although it is so much more. What do you think? Yes, it is not just a buzzword. We can use it to build bridges and convince teachers to practice intercultural education. One of the things intercultural education can do is offer teachers opportunities to understand that they can also take risks. As educators, we need to be constantly vigilant of the notion that education should be about opening one's mind. A formal classroom, during the formal education years, should be about offering the greatest opportunities to learn, enquire, and look at other ways of thinking, speaking and seeing, as this equips you to be an individual and achieve the best. In education, you are building resilient individuals who are not afraid of the Other, the Unknown, of difference and failure. We want children to be strong and aware that there are not necessarily easy answers and it is okay to feel unsure. It is the fear of failure that we want students to not have. We want them to be brave and take on challenges. A challenge is taking on something which you do not un- derstand and seeing that it can be understood. So if there is someone who looks different, you have faith that the difference can be overcome. Jan Molloy was a teacher in secondary education for more than 30 years, teaching History, Psychology, Geography and English. In 2006, she began working for the Immigration Museum (Victoria), and is now the Coordinator of the Museum's Programs in Humanities. In 2011, Jan received the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence. Μaria Filio Tridimas is a sociologist, with a strong interest in immigration policies, inclusion and migrant education. She has studied Human Rights, European Studies and International Relations and Educational Policy at the University of Warwick (UK) and University of Athens (Greece). She is responsible for the design and coordination of the educational initiative ‘Melbourne – Athens: A Journey of Friendship’ that was implemented by the Greek Community of Melbourne's Language and Culture Schools in collaboration with the Hellenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF) (Psychico College). She has worked as a sociology teacher and project coordinator in disability education and inclusion initiatives funded by the European Union.
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