The awards offer two teachers of Italian the opportunity to participate in a training and development course in Italy.

This year’s jury was made up of Bruno Buttini (representing the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund which sponsors the scholarships, valued at $5000 each), Carmen Di Napoli, Pina Lombardo and Concetta Cirigliano Perna.

Five teachers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria applied for the scholarships this year.

The jury’s task was particularly difficult, as the applications were of an exceptionally high standard.

Precise criteria were therefore established for the final selection process: academic qualifications; experience; the ability to take initiative as demonstrated in new activities and work environments; and the potential to implement new teaching methodologies learned in Italy for the benefit of students of Italian in Australian schools.

Based on these criteria, the jury came to a unanimous decision on the two winners: Elisa Gennari, who teaches at Melbourne Girls Grammar, and Lucy Pelosi, from Marist Catholic College in Penshurst, NSW.

Gennari graduated with honours from her education degree in Italy, with a final grade of 110.

In Australia, she became qualified to teach Italian and English at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.

Gennari has won other scholarships in the past, from the Australian Catholic University and as part of the Erasmus Programme, which allowed her to pursue two study trips in Spain.

She has also studied German at the Goethe Institut and undertaken English courses in Ireland and Scotland.

Gennari’s experience as an Italian teacher began in Melbourne in 2010, first at North Fitzroy Primary School and then at Reservoir High School.

She has also had many other jobs, demonstrating her ability to adapt to new experiences and her vast knowledge in various sectors.

The second winner, Pelosi, studied a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Education at the University of Sydney, graduating with High Distinction in Italian.

She then obtained a Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing (TAFE); a Certificate in Professional Training (TAFE); a Masters in Leadership from the University of Sydney; and a Diploma in Human Resources (TAFE).

Pelosi started teaching Italian in 1997, working in various schools and at CO.AS.IT. in Sydney.

Over the years, she has won other scholarships that have allowed her to participate in training and development courses in France and at the University for Foreigners of Perugia, in Italy.

She has been in her current position since 2013.

“Her passion and enthusiasm for students studying the Italian language and culture have allowed Lucy to take two groups of students to Italy over the past four years,” the principal of Marist Catholic College said in her reference letter.

“These students have reaped benefits that will last a lifetime.”

Taking into account this information, the jury is confident that both winners of the scholarships will treasure the precious opportunity offered to them.

The other three teachers who applied – Melissa Nelson from All Hallows’ School, in Brisbane, Carola Scatizzi from Marymede Catholic College, in Melbourne, and Moe Rosa Hashimoto from Smith’s Hill High School, in Wollongong – will receive a voucher of $1000 to purchase materials relating to new teaching methodologies.

The winning students of the Italian Education Awards will be announced in the next edition of In Classe, to be published on November 26.