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Passion for language and culture lands teacher top award

​2019 Outstanding Community Language Teacher of the Year nominees with Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA, Mr Chris Tallentire MLA, Mr Enzo Sirna AM, Ms Kim Ellwood (Executive Director, OMI) and members of the Multicultural Advisory Group

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Dr Nirosha Dilhani Kapu Arachchilage has won the Outstanding Community Language Teacher of the Year Award for her work with the Perth Sinhala School.

Community language teachers have been recognised at the annual Outstanding Community Language Teachers Awards, part of Western Australia's Languages Week activities. 

Languages Week celebrates language and language learning and is marked widely in Western Australia, where more than 290 languages are spoken.

The awards program is run by the State Government in partnership with Community Languages Western Australia (CLWA), the peak body for community language teachers.

Community language teachers teach language and cultural maintenance program to school aged children in not-for-profit community language schools.

Dr Nirosha Dilhani Kapu Arachchilage has received the 2019 Outstanding Community Language Teacher of the Year Award for her ongoing dedication towards the improvement of the Sinhala language program as well as the wider community languages sector in WA.

Dr Arachchilage, who joined the Perth Sinhala School in 2008, stood out from a competitive field for her dedication to her students and encouraging their further study in languages as well as for her promotion of Sinhalese culture from generation to generation.

The State Government funds 47 community languages schools through the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI). These school teach a total of around 6000 students.

Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister, Paul Papalia:

"Congratulations to Dr Arachchilage for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Community Language Teacher of the Year award.

"Community language teachers, like Dr Arachchilage, perform a vital service in maintaining language and cultural diversity in Western Australia.

"Community language schools are often staffed by highly dedicated volunteers with a passion for language and teaching.

"The McGowan Government is proud to support these teachers through the Community Language Program, which ensures community language schools have access to professional development, teaching resources and funding."