Associate Professor Roger Hillman
Australian National University – German
“Canberra’s multicultural strengths must be enhanced by the enterprising children’s programs run by the Spielwelt German Parents Association: the German language playgroups, the German Australian Playschool, and the Pfadfinder Scouts. These kinds of programs enrich both English- and German-speaking communities. The opportunity to consolidate, or be exposed to, a second language at such a young age is enviable: For pronunciation, vocabulary, ease of acquisition, I wish I’d had it! Beyond that there is the opportunity and challenge of cultural socialization. To manage all that, while retaining the element of play, is a wonderful achievement. These programs are sure to offer a rich experience and lots of fun for the children enrolled. Viel Spass und alles Gute!”
Dr Klaus-Peter Klaiber
Former German Ambassador, Distinguished visiting fellow at the ANU, former Assistant Secretary General to NATO
“Greetings as a patron. I am very supportive of the successful establishment of German language playgroups, the German Australian Playschool and the German Australian Pfadfinder Scouts in Australia’s capital city Canberra. As a former diplomat, I know from experience in many different countries that a sound education and the mastery of foreign languages is the key to lasting success in our globalised world. The earlier children are introduced to different cultures and languages, the better they will appreciate our fascinating planet earth. I therefore wish the Spielwelt German children’s groups the best of success.”
Web Genius, dodt.com studios
“I am very excited to have played a small part in the establishment of Spielwelt over 10 years ago. Exposure to a second language through immersion and cultural play is the best kind of environment in which to thrive and learn, from my experience. Having learnt German as a child here in Australia I truly see the value of the German language playgroups, the German Australian Playschool and the German Australian Pfadfinder Scouts. Knowing a second language opens one’s world to new possibilities and I strongly encourage everyone to give it a go and have fun.”
The late Professor Michael Clyne
Emeritus Professor, School of Languages Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University
Hon. Professorial Fellow, School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne
We regret the passing, on 29 Oct 2010, of our patron and supporter. In early 2010, he wrote:
“I am delighted to be a patron of Spielwelt. It propagates the kind of Australia that I strive to be part of, a culturally inclusive Australia. Both through its own activities (including playschool, language classes, bilingual scouting) and through information dissemination about other organisations, it encourages bilingualism and biculturalism in Australia at all levels from early childhood to adult. It collaborates with and encourages similar activities in other language groups.
“Spielwelt is one of the grassroots organisations which aims to break down the hurdle of monolingualism and to overcome the monolingual mindset in this country.
“Bilingualism is not only a key to two cultures and for many an expression of multiple identities. Nor is it just an investment in a global future. Most importantly it promotes a different kind of cognitive development with potential advantages to the individual across the life span and to this multicultural nation.”