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The award recognises the outstanding contribution of Indonesian language teachers in Australia.
Indonesian Language Teacher of the Year 2013
Jonathan Petersen, Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, NSW
Jonathan’s engagement with Indonesian and Indonesia has been a life-long journey, from studying Indonesian throughout high school, to Indonesian and Asian studies at university and professionally as a teacher, teacher trainer, assessor and exam writer of Indonesian.
Jonathan is his 18th year at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, where Jonathan developed the Indonesian program from scratch. Now firmly established from years K-6, Jonathan is currently working to extend the program from K-12, with Indonesian being a mandatory subject from K-8 for all students.
Under Jonathan’s innovative leadership, the Indonesian program at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School follows a bilingual approach in the primary school, where classroom teachers attend the language classes so they can acquire the language with their students. An integrated approach is followed in the secondary school, with Indonesian-focussed units of work in geography, business studies and food technology.
Jonathan has been at the core of establishing strong links with the school community and overseas. He conducts a Skype program with a sister school in Bali, and has been involved in establishing the school's own charity organisation - the Membantu Development Fund - which supports partner orphanages in Indonesia.
An exceptional achievement is Jonathan’s success in securing a contract with the Department of Immigration, approving a program he created that allows a teacher from the sister school to live in Australia for up to one year working as a native speaker assistant at the school.