Release type: Media Release


Government promotes the study of Asian languages in schools


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

4 May 2009

Government promotes the study of Asian languages in schools

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today invited primary and secondary schools to apply for grants under the $6.24 millionBecoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schoolsprogram which opens today.

Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schoolsis part of the Rudd Government’s $62.4 million National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP).

The program will be managed by the Asia Education Foundation and will provide $6.24 million in direct grants to primary and secondary schools between 2009 and 2011.

The grants will be awarded to schools to promote the teaching and learning of Asian languages and the study of Asia for the four NALSSP target countries—China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea.

Grants will be allocated each year between 2009 and 2011 through competitive funding rounds of up to:$20,000 for individual schools$25,000 for a cluster of two schools$40,000 or more for a cluster of four schools

The Minister also announced the membership of a new reference group to oversee the implementation of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP).

Announced to coincide with the Asian Education Foundation National Summit, the reference group will provide expert advice and high level strategic oversight across all elements of the NALSSP initiative.

ChairMr Sid Myer Asialink Chairman

Professor Kent AndersonDirector, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University

Mr Andrew BlairPresident of the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association

Ms Kathe KirbyExecutive Director of the Asia Education Foundation

Professor Tim LindseyDirector, Asian Law Centre at The University of Melbourne

Mr Tony MackayExecutive Director of the Centre for Strategic Education and Deputy Chair of the Interim National Curriculum Board

Ms Alice WongHead of Asia Markets at Westpac Banking Corporation

In addition to the NALSSP, Education Ministers’ recently agreed to include languages in the second phase of the new national curriculum development, together with the arts and geography.

The Rudd Government recently committed $14.9m to establish a new scholarship scheme: the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Awards.

The scholarships will allow the recipients to undertake one year of study in Asia, which can be followed by an internship or work placement also in Asia.

The Rudd Government has also recently committed $1 billion to build new science and language labs in around 500 secondary schools around the country to promote the study of science and languages.

For more information about the NALSSP, visit

Deputy Prime Minister’s Press Office:02 6277 7758