Members Establish Italian Colleges Australia (ICA)
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
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On 15 August 2020, Feast of the Assumption and Italian Ferragosto, the 18-member Steering Committee for an Italian College in the South West established a Company Limited by Guarantee named Italian Colleges Australia Ltd (ICA). The not-for-profit charity aims to build an independent Prep-Year 12 Italian college located in Sydney’s South West to operate under the NSW education system, with a focus on both the Australian and the Italian curriculum.
“ "We hope for a healthy and constructive relationship with the Italian authorities to guide us in this pursuit. Australia, with over 1 million citizens of Italian origin, clearly needs a school recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education. At the moment the only one in the Asia-Oceania region is in Beijing, China.”
The Constitution filed with ASIC defines that the college is created for "the promotion of the Italian language, culture, heritage, family values and traditions, the Roman Catholic faith and the way of life of the Italian migrant community in Australia, through the educational advancement of students."
A Board of Directors has been appointed for 2020-2023 comprising Giovanni Albanese, Emanuele Esposito, Daniel Pollicina, Lorenzo Rositano, Robert Ruggeri and Marco Testa.
"This Italian college", said Marco Testa, "is founded on the highest academic and moral standards, obtained through excellence in pedagogical, cultural, moral, social and religious education, bilingualism, philosophy and theology, worship, music and choir, classical languages, sciences, arts and architecture, sport and general discipline."
Four internal committees have been set up to advise on Governance, Curriculum, Planning and Community Involvement. Each committee is led by one or two Directors and comprises the founding members of the organisation as well as professionals and experts of various kinds, including lawyers, architects, IT and marketing specialists. The next steps will be the accreditation as an independent school with NESA and locating a suitable suite.
The Board is exploring the option of having the school also recognised as an Italian educational institution: something unique in Australia. "We hope for a healthy and constructive relationship with the Italian authorities to guide us in this pursuit. Australia, with over 1 million citizens of Italian origin, clearly needs a school recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education. At the moment the only one in the Asia-Oceania region is in Beijing, China." Testa said.
The Board of Directors is thankful "for the support received so far and for the future from the Founding Members and the 1,500 followers on social networks." The organisation is planning a fundraising campaign for the Italian College project. Testa also noted, "we will open a public campaign as soon as possible by inviting individuals, associations and community groups to give a financial contribution to the initiative, offering sponsorship and the possibility of taking up Honorary Membership with the Company."
Among the latest developments, a list of possible names has been devised for the proposed college. From Giuseppe Verdi to Leonardo da Vinci, passing through Maria Montessori and Enzo Ferrari.
The Board, however, is looking for a pedagogical charisma, capable of being able to fully express the identity of the new school. For this reason, the figure of Italian philanthropist Girolamo Emiliani (1486-1537), founder of the Order of Clerics Regular of Somasca has been foreshadowed as a possible option.
The Somascan Fathers operate the oldest continuing school in Europe, the Gallio College in Como. The Order has been present in Sydney since the early months of 2020 and may be able to contribute to give life to the Somascan Tradition for the College.