The scholarships will be established in partnership with the Italian Media Corporation, consisting of Il Globo, La Fiamma and Rete Italia, which recently launched In classe, a monthly lift out dedicated to information and content relevant to the education sector.

The scholarships will be awarded to already-established Italian teachers who wish to further their education, to improve their Italian language teaching skills and enhance their contribution to the Italian community.

According to a report conducted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 314,716 Australians study la bella lingua at school.

Italian professors at Monash University have identified Italian university students as having a good knowledge of the language, but not enough knowledge of the culture.

Data gathered by the Italian embassy emphasises the need to improve quality of education and teachers’ training in the Italian cultural sector, to aid students in their acquirement of Italian linguistic skills.

The Italian teaching scholarships are directed toward this cause.

“This is the best of the Italian-Australian community at work,” Felice Montrone OAM, Chairman of the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund and Board Member of Multicultural NSW, said.

“We see a need and we work towards it.”

The annual Italian-Australian Community Charity Lunch is held on the first Sunday of March every year.

This year, the lunch saw the participation of close to 600 people and 80 Italo-Australian groups and associations.

It is the seventh year that the event has been held, with the scope of raising money toward community causes.

The first event was in 2013, one year after Father Atanasio died on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the age of 89.

In 2019, the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund also allocated $10,000 to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, $10,000 to Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, $5000 to Concord Cancer Centre and $5000 to Let’s Get Going, a Concord-based charity which raises funds and manages programs to promote and assist in the health and wellbeing of adults with an intellectual and/or physical disability.

Four Charity Ambassador Certificates were also awarded to outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves for service to the community.

This year, the four appointed ambassadors were Salvatore Iacomo, Giuseppe Trombetta, Rita Fragassi and Rosaria Mastellone.

The awards were presented by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Also present at the lunch was the Hon. Ray Williams MP, Minister for Multiculturalism; The Hon. Victor Michael Dominello MP, Minister for Finance, Services and Property; The Consul General Arturo Arcano; Director of Italian Institute of Culture, Lillo Guarneri and Member of the Italian Senate of the Republic, Francesco Giacobbe.