MLTAWA’s Nathan Harvey Memorial Event

On Thursday 15 February, the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Western Australia Inc. (MLTAWA) held a Memorial Event at The Left Bank in Fremantle for the late Nathan Harvey – long-term teacher, leader, and advocate of Languages Education.  Known to all members of the MLTAWA and wider Languages Education community, both at a local, national and international level, Nathan’s sudden passing in September of 2023 left a reverberating sense of sadness to all who knew him.

Within an atmosphere of both mourning and celebration, the MLTAWA offered a memorable event to all who were present, including the following VIP guests:

The Harvey Family

Associate Professor Lindy Norris, Murdoch University

Ms Nadia Civa, Principal Consultant at SCSA

Ms Kate Reitzenstein, Languages Consultant at AISWA

Ms Clare Slyth, Languages Consultant at AISWA

Ms Marisa Schiavi, Immediate Past President of MLTAWA, and EAL/D and Languages Coordinator at CEWA

Presidents of the various Language Teachers’ Associations, including:

       Ms Li Liu (CLTAWA)

       Ms Rosanne Jacobs (JLTAWA)

       Ms Tanja Colgan (TAGWA)

       Ms Sonia Low (TOFA)

       Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis (WAMGLTA)

The informal gathering allowed for guests to mingle socially at the start and until the formalities began. 

Officially opening the event with her address was MLTAWA President, Ms Colleen Barclay.  After welcoming everyone present, Colleen provided a succinct but sufficiently detailed overview of Nathan’s professional life and extensive contribution to the field of Languages Education.  With Nathan’s family and colleagues listening intently to every word, there were many quiet tears among the guests present.  Colleen’s message was not only about remembering the indelible mark that Nathan made in the field of Languages Education, but also about the importance of continuing his legacy for future generations of language learners and teachers, policy writers and researchers.

This speech was followed by Nathan’s colleague, Ms Rosanne Jacobs, who delivered an equally as emotional and personalised address that called for all who knew him to remember his advocacy for Languages Education and to continue his extraordinary work in the field. 

The President of the MLTAWA, Ms Colleen Barclay, then announced the MLTAWA’s initiative of The Nathan Harvey Languages Education Scholarship for a Year 12 student who intends on studying a Language or Languages at tertiary level.  The details and criteria of selection of the $2,000 scholarship were read out to the audience, and were followed by an arousing applause from Nathan’s family members and all present at the event. 

Ms Pia Palermo then spoke, on behalf of Nathan’s team of colleagues at Willetton senior High School, pledging to continue Nathan’s legacy and to keep his memory alive. 

The final address was delivered once again by The President of the MLTAWA, Ms Colleen Barclay, who read out an address from the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) President Gillian Cordy. Gillian spoke about Nathan’s crucial role in the last AFMLTA Conference and his time as President during COVID, as well as how he strengthened the connections between the AFMLTA and the MLTAs. Gillian congratulated the MLTAWA on its initiative to establish The Nathan Harvey Languages Education Scholarship.

At the conclusion of the formalities, guests were invited to stay and mingle, remembering Nathan and his extraordinary achievements in the field, whilst enjoying a drink and the tasty finger food on offer.  The Nathan Harvey Memorial Event offered a sense of closure to all his colleagues and we are hopeful that it also offered insight to the family regarding the deep respect and love that Nathan’s colleagues and friends had for him.

Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis

Vice President (MLTAWA)

Chairperson (WAMGLTA)

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