Siena Catholic College gains international attention with Consul of Italy visit


From left to right: Siena Catholic College Education and Training Officer Rosella Dermedgoglou, Pre-service teacher Alessandra Scalco, Acting Principal Patrick Toohney, Consul of Italy Luna Angelini Marinucci, BCE Education Officer Rhiannon Shaw, Italian Language teacher DeLynne Wight, and Language Program Officer Sonia Baldissera. ​

​​​Siena Catholic College Sippy Downs was one of two schools selected on the Sunshine Coast to receive a visit from the first ever female Consul of Italy Luna Angelini Marinucci last month.  

Joining the Italian Consulate on the visit was the Italian Language Centre (ILC), who together received a tour of the College campus highlighting the capabilities and achievements of Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) students on an international scale. 
Siena Catholic College Acting Principal Patrick Toohey said the visit on Tuesday 30 May was a testament to the longstanding relationship between BCE and the ILC, with the collaboration instrumental in the development of quality language programs, ensuring the students have access to comprehensive linguistic and cultural learning experiences. 
“The visit of the Italian Consul to our College was a momentous occasion for our school community,” he said. 
“With an aim to foster the study of the Italian language and culture, the visit provided students with unparalleled learning experiences and prepares them for a globalised world. 
“It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our school’s achievements and commitment to Italian language education to the Italian Consulate and ILC.” 
As part of the visit, the Italian Consulate joined in on a junior and senior Italian lesson and received a walking tour of the College. 
“Our Italian Language teacher DeLynne Wight plays a vital role in nurturing the student's passion and success in the subject,” he added. 
“Our College, with the support of Delynne, is committed to excellence in Italian language education and played a pivotal role in the success of one of our former Year 12 students Layna Daly, who was awarded the prestigious StuditaliA prize in 2021.” 
The Acting Principal added that he is immensely grateful for the ongoing support of the Italian Language Centre and the Italian Consulate provides his students and Siena Catholic College. 
“Their collaboration continues to elevate our Italian program and inspire our students,” he said. 
The StuditaliA Prize is the initiative of the Queensland Department of Education, the Consulate of Italy, and the Italian community in Brisbane to promote excellence in Italian-language studies in Queensland schools and reward the high achievement of Year 12 students of Italian. 
StuditaliA Prize 2021 prize winner Layna, who is now studying a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene at Griffith University, said she felt inspired to apply for the grant after going on a student exchange to Italy with Siena Catholic College in 2019. 
“Getting to stay in Italy over the Christmas holidays at the end of Year 10, was an incredible experience I will never forget,” she says. 
“We got to spend two weeks with our exchange families, and then two weeks as a school group. 
“This experience ignited a deep passion within me for the Italian language and a desire to further explore the country that had become a second home to me, which propelled me to apply for the StuditaliA Prize. 
“I would like to thank the ILC and Italian Consulate for their invaluable support and for creating opportunities like the StuditaliA Prize. 
“Their commitment to promoting excellence in Italian-language studies has had a profound impact on students like me.” 
Layna intends to use her $3000 StuditaliA Prize grant to return to Italy once she completes her bachelor's degree at the end of 2024. 
For more information about the StuditaliA Prize and to apply click here. Applications close for current Year 12 students at 5pm Wednesday 12 July 2023. 

For more information about Siena Catholic College Sippy Downs and to enrol click here. ​


StuditaliA Prize 2021 prize winner Layna in Italy in 2019.

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