The Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA), as the peak body for Languages educators in Australia, is committed to recognising and encouraging outstanding contributions to the field of Languages education and so encourages state and territory Language Teachers’ Associations to nominate members for the following awards:

2023 Awards

  • Nominations for the AFMLTA Awards will open in 2024

AFMLTA Medal for Outstanding Service to Language Teaching

This award is made in recognition of exceptional and outstanding contributions to language teaching in Australia over an extended period. An exceptional and outstanding contribution is to be regarded as one that has significantly influenced the pattern and/or quality of language teaching and learning in Australia in some beneficial way.

Previous Recipients of Medal for Outstanding Service to Language Teaching

  • 2023  Andrew Scrimgeour (read the citation here)
  • 2018  John Hajek (read the citation here)
  • 2017  Jane Orton (read the citation here)
  • 2013  Michael Clyne (posthumously)
  • 2011   Lia Tedesco
  • 2011   Joseph LoBianco
  • 2008  David Vale
  • 2005  Angela Scarino
  • 1999   Denis Cunningham
  • 1994   David Ingram
  • 1992   Manuel Gelman (1st President AFMLTA)

AFMLTA Certificate of Merit

This award is made in recognition of dedicated and effective contribution to the work of the AFMLTA over an extended period. The recipient will be or will have been a member of an affiliated MLTA/LTA or have actively contributed to the work of the AFMLTA Inc over an extended period.

Previous Recipients of AFMLTA Certificate of Merit

  • 2018
Joe van Dalen
  • 2018
Kylie Farmer
  • 2016
Melissa Gould-Drakeley
  • 2015
Fulvia Valvasori
  • 2015
Greg Dabelstein
  • 2012
Helen Best
  • 2012
Peter Voss
  • 1997
Barry Muir

Patji-Dawes Award

Image courtesy of The Notebooks of William Dawes, David Nathan, and the National Library of Australia.

The Patji-Dawes award was an initiative of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), developed as part of the Outreach program, which included a commitment to improving levels of multilingualism and accomplishment of additional languages in Australia, through understanding and public debate on how we learn and teach languages effectively.

Throughout the years of CoEDL, the award was supported and sponsored by the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) and the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU). With CoEDL now concluded, the AFMLTA and LCNAU have proudly assumed responsibility for continuing the award, to recognise teachers of languages.


The purpose of the Patji-Dawes Language Teaching Award is to honour outstanding achievements in teaching languages by an accomplished practitioner or team of practitioners in Australia. Accomplishing proficiency in additional languages is one of the great learning experiences in the human condition. Australia lags behind the world in ensuring plurilingual capability through provision of languages education. There is unfulfilled need for public recognition of those who provide outstanding teaching of languages to address plurilingual capability.

The teaching may take place in any setting – school, university, private language school, government department, Indigenous community, Community language centre. What matters is that the learner is led, by the teacher’s inspiration, to a moderate to high level of accomplishment in the chosen language.

We seek nominations from those who’ve achieved a moderate to high level of fluency in their chosen language. If you would like to honour your teacher or teachers, we ask that you tell us (and the world) what it was about their practice that inspired and enabled you to unlock the rewards of learning another language despite all the difficulties involved.

About the name

The name of the award commemorates the teaching-learning partnership which underlay the earliest documented language learning in Australia’s history: that between a young Indigenous woman, Patyegarang (Patye or Patji, pronounced Pat-che), and Lieutenant William Dawes. Their close relationship resulted not only in an exceptional mastery of the Sydney language by Dawes and English by Patji, but in a relationship of cross-cultural understanding that has been all too rare in Australia’s history.

The award and ceremony (2023)

The award will include a certificate of recognition, and travel costs for the prize-winner to attend the award ceremony. In 2023, this will occur at the International Languages Conference of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) in Perth, Western Australia, on 8 July 2023.

The winner is invited to make a short address at the presentation ceremony.

2023 Patji-Dawes Teaching Award recipient

The Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (AFMLTA) and the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU) are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2023 Patji-Dawes Language Teaching Award is Matt Absalom, Lecturer in Italian Studies, School of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne.

LCNAU President John Hajek, Matt Absalom, and AFMLTA President Gillian Cordy

FIPLV International Award

The AFMLTA is able to nominate a representative for the FIPLV International Award. The FIPLV International Award, an initiative of the FIPLV Executive committee, is FIPLV’s highest distinction, in addition to the title of Honorary FIPLV Counsellor, which is reserved for (former) members of the FIPLV executive, The FIPLV International Award can be awarded to FIPLV members who distinguish or have distinguished themselves by being exceptionally active, innovative, valuable, talented, in one or more fields of language learning and language teaching (as detailed in the FIPLV documents).

The FIPLV International Award consists of a certificate of honour, a file containing FIPLV documentation and publication in the FIPLV World News of the candidate’s citation with a picture and with congratulations by the FIPLV Executive Committee.

Previous Australian Recipients of FIPLV International Award

  • 2021
Jane Orton – nominated by AFMLTA (posthumous; read the citation here)
  • 2019
John Hajek – nominated by AFMLTA (read the citation here)
  • 2016
Joseph Lo Bianco – nominated by AFMLTA (read the citation here)
  • 2006
Angela Scarino – nominated by MLTASA
  • 2005
Marjory Ellsmore – nominated by MLTANSW
  • 2004
Margaret Gearon – nominated by MLTAV