Frank Scicluna, who migrated to Australia 55 years ago, was appointed to the council for Maltese Living Abroad, making it his mission to keep Maltese-Australians together and connected to their roots.
I migrated to Australia in 1965, to upgrade my teaching qualifications. It was an adventure as well as being close to my family.
I was a secondary teacher for over 30 years. I worked with the South Australian Education Department and taught mathematics and languages. I then became principal of the Maltese Language School in Adelaide and was the first president of the Federation of the Maltese Language Schools in Australia (FMLSA) and of the Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Associations (AFESA).
I feel like I have achieved my aim to keep Maltese people living in Australia together and connected to Malta. I accomplished this in two ways: firstly, by writing and distributing the Journal of the Maltese Diaspora in Australia. This is an e-Newsletter, mostly in English, which is read by thousands of Maltese in Malta, Gozo and around the world.
The e-newsletter is now in its 300th edition and about 24 pages per edition long and it enjoys a prodigious distribution. The electronic newspaper is also in printed form for the residents of several Aged Care Facilities and for members of Maltese associations in Canada, Australia and USA. Since the demise of The Maltese Herald, the Maltese Journal has become one of the only concrete press contacts with Malta. I am proud to say that my newspaper is preserved at the Malta Migration Museum in Valletta and at the Maltese-Canadian archives in Toronto.
My engagement with the Maltese Government got me appointed to the council for Maltese Living Abroad by the Prime Minister. I ‘own’ the ‘Linguistics and Maltese Language Teaching’ portfolio. This pro bono work I do is supplemented by large community contributions as Honorary Consul for Malta in South Australia and as Justice of the Peace.
Both Malta and Australia have honoured me for my work. I am grateful that my work has been well perceived by the Maltese and Australian governments. In December 2018, former president Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and the Government of Malta bestowed me with the “Gieħ ir-Repubblika” medal. Whereas, the Australian Federal Government acknowledged my work by honouring me with the prestigious award of the Order of Australia Medal for my services to the Maltese community in Australia and also for my work in education and multiculturalism. I was also given the Governor’s certificate of ‘outstanding achievement in multicultural affairs’.
Love your language. I encourage all Maltese living abroad to love and retain their language and culture and promote the rich history of the Maltese Islands wherever they are. We should be proud of our heritage and identity.
I do miss Malta so much so that for many years I engaged in teaching Maltese language, history and culture at the Maltese Language School of Adelaide. I visited Malta several times since I had other siblings living there. As a delegate of the Council of Maltese Living Abroad, I attended the annual meetings and I also participated in several Conventions organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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