Tim Willington (2016)
When Tim picked German as a foreign language at Daramalan College, he probably didn’t expect that it would give him a chance to stay in Europe and would propel his future career. Now Tim is paying tribute to his favourite teacher and discussing the importance of speaking foreign languages.
Which language did you study at Daramalan College, and how did it help you in life?
I studied German at Daramalan with Frau Craig. Studying a language has opened so many doors for me in ways that I would have never expected. In Year 11 I was fortunate to receive a scholarship awarded by Scholarships for Australian-German Student Exchange (SAGSE)
to study and live in Germany for three months. This was a life changing time for me. I was able to fully immerse myself in another culture, become fluent in the language, live with a wonderful host family and make many close friends.
I continued to study German while at university alongside my Law degree. My passions for German and Law collided when the Government Solicitor’s Office approached my German Lecturer asking for German speaking Law students who could assist with paralegal work on a class action case against Volkswagen. This job was a massive leap forward in my career – mostly thanks to German! I am now working for a Judge at the Supreme Court and will be returning to work as a Litigation Lawyer for the government in a few months time.
Who was your favourite teacher?
Frau Craig was definitely my favourite teacher at Daramalan. Her lessons were always engaging and often made much more interesting with her stories and amazing cultural knowledge. She encouraged us all to think differently about the world and this is something I continue to do and attribute to her. She helped me immensely during my time there. She let me know about the SAGSE scholarship, wrote my application with me and prepared me for my interview. Learning German with Frau Craig really kickstarted everything for me and changed the way I saw the world. I will forever be grateful for the time and effort Frau Craig put in to helping me.
Why do you think it’s important to learn a new language?
Given we mostly all speak English in Australia, it is easy to think we don’t need to learn another language. However, you can never truly experience or connect with other cultures unless you can speak with someone in their native language. Being able to do this can open new parts of the world for you. It is a powerful skill no matter what career you choose.
What is your advice for current students?
Particularly for college students – don’t just study a course because you think it will get you good marks. You will almost always do better at something you enjoy. If you happen to enjoy learning a language, stick with it! It gets more fun the better you get at it.
Posted By , 05 Jun 2023