Thursday, June 26, 2024

Dear CLS Principals and Leaders,

On behalf of the CLV Committee, It is with profound heartbreak and deep sorrow that we inform you of the untimely passing of Stefan Romaniw Executive Director of Community Languages Australia & Community Languages Victoria.

On his way home to Australia after attending a conference in Lithuania, Stefan collapsed in Warsaw on Tuesday 26 June and was taken immediately to hospital. Stefan’s children travelled to Warsaw to be at his side. We learned of his passing away in the evening of Wednesday 26 June.

Stefan was an immensely loved, respected and admired member of our community. His huge impact — as an untiring and fierce leader, a mentor and advocate for community languages — was unmatched. His indelible skills as an advocate, communicator, collaborator, mediator and unifier brought immeasurable strength to the sector and to everyone he worked with. Upon his broad shoulders and wise guidance, the community languages sector grew and continued to thrive.

His involvement with community language education began in his youth. Mr. Romaniw, the son of Ukrainian father and mother, started out as a student the Ukrainian Community School in North Melbourne and went on to serve as principal of that Ukrainian school for 17 years! He received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his “service to education and language learning through the coordination and provision of services for people from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.”

If it was inspiration you were looking for, Stefan was the person you needed to hear from. If you needed support, Stefan was always there serving passionately and coordinating at a national level. If you needed optimism, Stefan had a strong faith in creating a better tomorrow. In his own words in a recent interview Stefan said: "I like to be optimistic, I like to smile, and I like to joke because it creates a good atmosphere wherever you are.”

We, the Community Languages Victoria Secretariat (Fahry Abubaker, CLV Executive Officer, Neda Erjaei, CLV Child Safety & Compliance Officer, Heba El-Hakim, CLV Projects & Communications Officer and Mr. Tassos Douvartzides, President CLV Committee), offer our deepest condolences to the Romaniw family - wife Anastasia, children Peter and wife Stevie, Theresa and husband Jeffrey, and his many treasured grandchildren. We will support them through this intensely difficult time. Please join us in honouring Stefan’s memory and keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Rest in eternal dear Stefan 🌷❤️

Kind Regards,

Fahry Abubaker | Executive Officer
Community Languages Victoria / Community Languages Australia  
Office: Level 2, 189 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
Ph: 03-9349-2683   Fax: 03-9349-2689   Mob: 0422 178 062
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I work, and pay my respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.

Community Languages Victoria
Level 2, 189 Faraday Street
Carlton Victoria 3053
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