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Dear Italian Community Leaders,

As you may be aware there has been a recent announcement at Flinders University to close the teaching of Italian.

Com.It.Es South Australia is deeply concerned about this decision to cut the teaching of Italian, given that the Italian community is still one of the largest ethnic group in South Australia and is the largest non-English language spoken in South Australian homes (Census 2016).

The Italian community has played a rich and integral role in the South Australian community and many of our family success stories have built this country into the beautiful nation we now call home. However, we Italians still remain linked to our cultural identity, and the decision to stop the teaching of Italian in a state that has over 120,000 Italian-Australians living in South Australia as the largest ethnic group is a disrespectful move that stops our children and grandchildren to learn Italian and connect to their culture.

Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world, and Italy is one of Australia’s major trading partners. Two-way goods and services trade between Australia and Italy are valued at $11.1 billion ($383 million in South Australia. Source: DFAT 2020), with a recent wave of investment by Italian companies in South Australia due to the growing space sector. These facts alone, show how important it is to continue to promote and teach Italian in our schools and universities, and we feel that the decision by the Flinders University needs to be reversed and the Italian language department re-instated for the continual promotion of Italian language and culture, and the ability for our future generations to have access to learn Italian and connect to their rich culture.

Com.It.Es has organised an online petition in the attempt to show Flinders University just how important the teaching of Italian is to the local community and we strongly encourage you to circulate the online link from our facebook page on your social media platforms and wider networks to gain as many signatures as possible so we can present this to the university shortly. We also strongly recommend that you write to your local MP and highlight the importance you and your local communities feel about this decision as they too can play a part in advocating to the university to further help our cause.

If your organisation or association requires a hard-copy of the petition please CLICK Flinders Uni Italian Petition for a hard-copy version of the petition for your use which can be printed and used immediately. Once you have completed getting signatures please feel free to scan and email them back to us, or alternatively post them to our office.

We cannot stress enough how important this is for our Italian community to unite for a common good, and we would be thankful for your support in this matter to save the teaching of Italian at Flinders University.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Un caro saluto,

Dr Christian Verdicchio – President Com.It.Es South Australia

Ps. The link for our online petition is www.change.org/Save-Italian-At-FlindersUni