The Dante Alighieri Society (the Society) has been offering Canberrans a taste of Italian culture for more than 60 years. It was established in 1957 by a small elite group of enthusiasts drawn from the upper echelons of the city’s academic, public service and diplomatic circles. Like our city, it has grown considerably and has gone through many changes over the past six decades. Today, it is the most prominent Italian community association in Canberra and an acknowledged trendsetter in the international network of Dante Alighieri Societies based in Rome. In managing the Society, the Committee strives to build on past experience and successes to improve services and promote a stronger and deeper relationship with members. Feedback from members is crucial to this process and is actively encouraged. In 2019 we conducted a detailed survey of members in addition to the regular feedback from members and particularly students. The Society prides itself as the provider of the “best value for money” Italian language courses in Canberra. We are firmly committed to continuous improvement in the range and quality of services provided to members and, more broadly, to the Canberra community. This strategic plan will shape the realisation of our vision for the Society and will guide our approach to the related challenges in doing so as a voluntary, community, social and cultural organisation. Over the next three years, we will enthusiastically promote Italian language and culture in the Canberra Region. We will strive to expand and improve the range of our services to give members an authentic experience of Italian culture. We will also strengthen our engagement with stakeholders and the wider community to ensure that our Society is the first port of call for Canberrans seeking an Italian cultural experience.
A Society that Canberrans go to for authentic experiences of Italian language and culture.
To promote and stimulate a passion for Italian language and culture in the Canberra Region.
Accessible and inclusive. We invite and welcome all interested Canberrans to share our excitement and passion for all things Italian in a friendly and supportive environment. We strive to infuse in all our members a sense of being part of a family.
Responsiveness to members and stakeholders. We value the involvement and contribution of all members and stakeholders. We will endeavour to achieve an appropriate balance of competing interests in services and activities for members.
Quality, excellence and authenticity. We deeply committed to ensuring a genuine and authentic Italian experience for our members. As a not for profit association we will not compromise the quality and excellence of our services for economic gain.
Tradition and History. We have a vital responsibility to ensure that future generations are aware of the history and traditions of the Italian community and of the community’s contribution to Canberra’s multicultural identity.
Responsible management, Integrity and accountability. We believe in transparent, accountable and prudent stewardship of the Society’s affairs.
OUR STRATEGIC GOALS
A strategic planning workshop for members of the committee and representatives of key membership categorises was organised to discuss and define broad strategic priorities for the Society to guide the subsequent development of our strategic goals and define key performance indicators to measure progress toward those goals in the period 2021-2023.
1 Establish an integrated program for the teaching of Italian
This will be achieved by:
• Expanding our classroom and online teaching services to provide school students (pre-school to senior secondary) and adults with high-quality opportunities to learn Italian.
• Develop and consolidate online services to support and integrate our classes activity.
• Establish a subcommittee to manage the teaching program and monitor efficiency.
• Develop a standard structure and content for each level consistent with the Common European Reference Framework for Languages and an appropriate system to test student proficiency to facilitate progression between levels and transfer at the same level.
• Restructure and expand conversation activities to provide more opportunities for language practice including a dedicated conversation component in language courses.
• Recruit highly proficient teachers of Italian and provide them with ongoing professional development to ensure best practice learning opportunities for students.
• Establish a forum to facilitate and encourage interaction and mutual support between teachers and promote exchange of teaching ideas, approaches and methods, and the sharing of teaching resources.
• Enhance student engagement with the Society through the development of a program of out of class activities more attuned to their needs and interests.
2 Implement a highly effective and innovative communication and marketing strategy
This will be achieved by:
• Establish a dedicated permanent subcommittee to manage the Society’s communication and marketing strategy.
• Develop a standout image and brand for use across all information and marketing channels.
• Develop and implement a plan for a digital transformation of the Society’s communication and marketing initiatives. Engage expert advice as necessary.
• Convert our website into an enticing and engaging display of all the Society’s offerings and activities.
• Ensure integrated and consistent use of the Society’s website and social media platforms in all communication and marketing activities.
• Modernise the Dante Review to maximise its relevance and appeal to the key demographics of the membership.
3 Integrate delivery of language and cultural services
This will be achieved by:
• Establish a Cultural Integration subcommittee responsible for development and management of the Society’s cultural program and its integration with language activities
• Engage with and develop cultural activities in partnership with schools, education institutions, regional associations and community organisations with an interest in the Italian language and culture
• Develop a program strategy and an ongoing plan of cultural activities catering to interest of each of the Society’s membership groups with particular attention to younger generations.
• Organise regular cultural/educational events in Italian to provide language students the opportunity to practice language skills
• Review effectiveness of the Dante Review as a resource in support of the Society’s cultural and language teaching objectives
• Promote integration and collaboration of Italian community associations in the promotion of Italian language and culture
• Build, develop and foster cultural relationships with cultural institutions operating in Canberra
OUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Thanks to its decade-long record of sound financial management, the Society is well-placed to approach the challenges of future change with confidence. Our current financial position is the best on record. Building on this, we will continue to strengthen our financial strategy to ensure best value in all services provided to members.