We have established in Australia two Slovenian educational associations, both in Victoria – Slovenian Teachers Association of Victoria (1976) and The Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria (1998). Both functioned within the context of Victorian and Australian professional educational language associations and the state language school – Saturdays School of Modern Languages (later named Victorian School of Languages) while addressing the needs of the descendants of Slovenian migrants growing up in Australia.
The main aim and purpose of STAV was to maintain the teaching of Slovenian language and culture in the secondary school system of Victoria.
Activities undertaken by STAV during the following years included regular meetings of teachers, seminars and workshops, development of syllabi and test papers, the acquisition and introduction of teaching resources. There were enrolment drives at the beginning of each school year, meetings with parents at various centres around Melbourne, publication of articles in Misli, radio talks and interviews.
In 1998, the Slovenian Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV) underwent a change of direction and broadening of scope. Slovenian classes were diminishing and we were now teaching the third generation of students, who no longer spoke or heard Slovenian at home. Slovenian was taught as a Second Language to fewer students and lacked suitable teaching resources. The Institute of Slovenian Studies of Victoria (ISSV), established in 1998, represented a creative response to new challenges, using modern technology to resist cultural fragmentation of Slovenian community in Australia.
It was based on a broad concept and vision for the maintenance of Slovenian identity - a sense of who we are and where we are going in the modern world. The website is an expression of our sense of pride in our origins, our language, our continued existence as a separate independent people, despite the pressures brought to bear on us to change. Thezaurus is also a vehicle for further projects on the Web, structured in such a way that projects can be included and expanded according to need. The structure is flexible and dynamic, so that new projects can be added.