Speech - Mr Charles Mifsud (Australia)
Mr Charles Mifsud referred to a Maltese-Australian community in New South Wales where the population is proud of its heritage, and as such it should assist in the economic, social and cultural development of Malta. It also enriches the host country with a foreign culture and language.
As in other immigrant countries, the pattern is just as equal, namely that the first generation of Maltese makes full use of their mother-tongue, whereas the second and third generations have a considerable diminished use of the language.
Great efforts are made by various Maltese Associations to keep alive our Tradition, our Culture and our Language. An excellent medium is the use of Radio programs and a newspaper named The Maltese Herald, which reach many people. Other linguistic resources and books from Malta are very much needed among the young Maltese in order to generate interest in the culture. In 1999 a Maltese Community Language School was set up with the co-operation of the local Department of Education. About l00 students take part with tuition from eight qualified teachers, and it continues to develop due to the high demand by the local Maltese families.
There is no assistance forthcoming from sources in Malta.
Continuous pleas are made for all kinds of resources, including adequate funds, to ascertain successful continuity of the project. It is felt that the Maltese Government has an obligation to support the socio-linguistic development of Maltese abroad.
We urgently need assistance from Malta and a genuine commitment by the Government to help us preserve our Culture and Language for future generations of Maltese abroad.
Source: 'Malta' - Maltese Culture Movement, Issues 4,5,6, 2000.