Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 25-08-15 Contents Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 8
Top of the language class for Aariel
Kimberley Le Lievre
Amaroo School year 8 student, Aariel Bonnitcha, 13, was the ACT top point scorer in the Language Perfect World Championships and Amaroo School,
finishing first in the ACT and seventh in the world.
Photo: Melissa Adams
Public school students in the ACT are
among some of the most proficient in
learning a second language, according
to results from learning resource
Amaroo School, which offers
Japanese and French, competed with
more than 1000 schools across the
world to come in seventh place
globally for the recent Language
Perfect World Championships. They
were placed first in the ACT out of 25
schools who took part in the
The students results have improved
year on year since 2012, when they
placed 342nd in the world. In 2013, the
school placed 19th globally and in
2014 they placed eighth overall.
Amaroo School executive teacher of
languages Kiraly Middleton said the
learning resource was a computer-
based program targeting the students
in certain areas.
"They just get better and better
without realising it," Mrs Middleton
"It s all linked to what we re
teaching them then and there. We ve
noticed they know lots of extra words
they wouldn t have seen before, that
we may not have explicitly taught, but
they re learning those through
Mrs Middleton said learning a
second language was important for
"More and more of our kids are
going to need these skills, one
language is not going to be enough.
"It s about understanding different
cultures and how people think, and
why they might think that way."
Year 8 student Aariel Bonnitcha, 13,
said in the grand scheme of the
competition, she came 26th out of
300,000 competitors worldwide. She
said she enjoyed the chance to
compete against other students across
"I study French at the moment," she
said. "I m probably intermediate, I
only started last year but Language
Perfect definitely helped. We use it in
class a lot; it s like a revision website
where you answer lots of different
questions. I answered close to 70,000
in 10 days," Aariel said.
Learning a language is compulsory
for all ACT public school students in
years three to eight, in one of eight
priority languages; Chinese, French,
German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese,
Korean and Spanish.
Since the introduction of the ACT
government Language Pathways Plan
in 2008, the number of students
studying a language in public schools
Minister for Education and Training
Joy Burch said about 26,000 students
were now studying languages in the
"The number of students studying
Asian languages has also more than
doubled, with over 16,000 students
involved in Asian language programs
compared to 7834 in 2008," Ms Burch
Canberra's latest hearing aid for outer space installed
NASA s newest antenna is closer to
communicating with outer space after
a successful liftoff last week.
The 34-metre Deep Space Station
36 antenna dish was finally hoisted
onto the main antenna structure at
Canberra Deep Space Communication
Complex, bringing the capital on par
with international Deep Space
A fault with the 400-tonne crane
delayed the instalment of the dish,
with sensor feedback from the crane
not operating correctly.
The placement of the antenna
requires millimetre accuracy.
Canberra Deep Space
Communication Complex spokesman
Glen Nagle said the setback was
fairly minor .
It s frustrating but that s
engineering and science, he said.
Mr Nagle said Thursday s
instalment had been absolutely
It s a proud moment for the Deep
Space Network and for Australia, he
It s nice too, by coincidence, this
is happening in National Science
Week. This is a great symbol of the
science and innovation Australia is at
the forefront of in so many different
Workers will now turn their
attention to fitting the electronics, a
process which will take at least 12
The new dish will be operational by
It joins the most recently completed
Deep Space Station 35 and brings
Canberra on par with networks in
California and Madrid, working to
allow information discovered in outer
space to safely make its way back to
The largest dish in the southern
hemisphere, Deep Space Station 43,
was expected to receive a facelift on
Thursday with an upgrade of its
L-band radio receiver cone.
Canberra s largest antenna has been
active since 1973 and has a diameter
of 70 metres.
The existing 35-year-old plus cone
will be removed by a crane and
replaced with a state-of-the-art four-
metre high L-band receiver cone
weighing more than 200 kilograms.
160 PEOPLE SICK
A criminal trial over Canberra s largest
salmonella outbreak has been delayed
until next year.
The owners of the former Copa
Brazilian restaurant had been
scheduled to go before the ACT
Magistrates Court last Thursday over
the incident that left about 160 people
with food poisoning in May 2013.
But the case was delayed until
February so further expert evidence
could be obtained.
The Copa s owners, listed on court
papers as Zeffirelli Pizza Restaurant
Pty Ltd, have pleaded not guilty to
charges of selling unsafe food likely to
cause physical harm.
It is understood the case will hinge
on whether the restaurant can be held
criminally liable for the outbreak.
The hearing is expected to take only
Under ACT food safety law, those
who either knowingly or negligently
sell unsafe food can face criminal
The criminal case follows civil
lawsuits against the restaurant, with an
estimated $1 million, including costs,
paid out to those struck down by
An ACT Health investigation found
a supplier in Victoria to be responsible
for the bad eggs that had been used by
the Dickson restaurant to make raw
The mayonnaise was then served to
diners in a potato salad.
Many patrons of the then newly-
opened all-you-can-eat Brazilian
barbecue were struck down with
salmonella poisoning, and the
Canberra Hospital s emergency
department reportedly had one of its
busiest days on record.
In the aftermath, the restaurant
issued an apology to those affected and
removed all products containing raw
egg from its menu to ensure the
poisoning was not repeated.
By Mick Inman
iGenerationers make Canberra a young city
First year ANU students from left,
Liam Rankine, 18, Fergus Little, 19,
Nishanth Pathy, 18, and Nicol
Brodie, 18, are among the high
number of iGeneration living in
Acton. Photo: Melissa Adams
Katie Burgess and Megan Gorrey
Acton is home to Australia s highest
concentration of iGenerationers --
tech-savvy millennials aged eight to
27, according to Australian Bureau of
Statistics data released this week.
With thousands of Australian
National University students, in 2014,
Acton had the lowest median age in
Australia at 23 years, with
iGenerationers making up 75.9 per
cent of the population.
Among the transient members to
call Acton home is Nicol Brodie, a
first-year ANU student who moved
from Sydney to study economics and
international relations, and lives on
campus at Ursula Hall. He felt his
generation, known for their ability to
multi-task and communicate via
technology, benefited from easy access
to vast amounts of information
through the internet.
I wouldn t be the person I am
without Google and Wikipedia, they
sparked my interest in a lot of things.
But he said the iGeneration also
suffered from feeling scattered and
distracted by technology and had
witnessed political discourse become
an echo chamber of catchphrases .
The students don t seem to be very
scattered geographically though. The
ABS data also showed the iGeneration
made up 58.2 per cent of residents in
ABS demographer Guy Jennings
said the large student populations are --
demographically at least -- keeping
Canberra forever young .
The ACT has a large number of
young people who come here to study
or attend the military college or to
work -- many of [them] do not stay
once their training is over -- thus from
a demographic point they do not age
but are replaced by people of a similar
characteristic each year, he said.
But it s not just the iGeneration
contributing to Canberra s thriving
younger population. Inner-city
suburbs are home to higher than
average proportions of generations X
and Y, and more than 70 per cent of the
territory are of working age.
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