Faculty Head: 

Learning Streams: 

  • Country Studies
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Foreign Languages

Impact of COVID-19

In response to public health advice regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and our ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of staff and visitors, the Diplomatic Academy is reviewing the delivery of programs on a case-by-case basis. In some cases this may mean that courses need to be cancelled or postponed, or that attendee numbers need to be reduced so we can maintain social distancing requirements. For other courses, we are using WebEx for participants to engage remotely.

Visitors to the Academy should follow medical advice and information provided by the Department of Health and healthdirect. If you are unwell, are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or need to self-isolate please email diplomaticacademy [at] dfat.gov.au as soon as possible to let us know that you will not be attending your course. For those attending the Diplomatic Academy in person please use the hand sanitiser available and maintain social distancing requirements. You are welcome to bring your own coffee cup. All Academy crockery and cutlery is being cleaned in the dishwasher - please do not hand wash them in the sink.

The Language Faculty

The Language Faculty builds and maintains the language capabilities that are integral to the department's and the Australian Public Service's work in advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally.

The Diplomatic Academy offers Discussion Groups and Immersion Courses to assist Australian/ACT Government staff to maintain a language proficiency. If you are not sure which level Discussion Group/Immersion Course to attend, it is recommended that you review the Australian Foreign Service Language Proficiency Ratings and attend a Discussion Group to discuss further with the tutor.

Lunchtime Discussion Groups

Purpose: Discussion Groups are designed to assist Australian/ACT Government staff in Canberra maintain their language proficiency in key topics related to the government's core areas of work. These discussions groups give staff a good opportunity to use and maintain their existing foreign language skills. 

Audience: Participants must speak the particular language in order to attend one or more of these groups as they are not language classes. Participation is open to staff from Australian government agencies and ACT Government staff. Tutors are available to assess your language skills at your first Discussion Group to ensure they are sufficient to attend the group (or to suggest a different level). 


All Discussion Groups are now being conducted via WebEx (teleconference). There will be no face-to-face discussion groups held until further notice. The language tutor (CIT Solutions) will host these meetings via telephone and provide regular participants with the details to join the meeting. If you are a new attendee, please email languagestudiesunit [at] dfat.gov.au or CitSolLanguages [at] cit.edu.au and let us know which group you wish to join so we can provide you with the relevant details.

Format: Discussion Groups are held on the same working day each week between 4 February and 27 November 2020. While participants are accepted on a 'first arrival' basis, DFAT participants are given priority.

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm.

Location: Diplomatic Academy, Level 1, 44 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT.  

Cost: There is no cost to attend a Discussion Group.

Note: Attendance levels are monitored to ensure that language training resources are applied as effectively as possible. Where attendance is irregular or below minimal levels, discussion groups may be cancelled. 

Discussion Group Timetable 2020


Language Level Day Room Tutor
Arabic 1 - 2 Wednesday 47 Mohanned Qassar
Arabic  3 - 4 Thursday 47 Wafa Alhait
Bislama 1 - 4 Tuesday 36 Tari Seru
Cantonese 1 - 4 Thursday 48 Mimi Zhang or Sharon Cui
Farsi 1 - 4 Thursday 51 Nusha Faizi
French 2 Friday 56 Matthew Dowling
French 3 Tuesday 47 Adeline Marty or Sylvie Formont
French 4 Thursday 55 Adeline Marty or Sylvie Formont
German 2 - 4 Wednesday 48 Katrin Matthews
Hindi 1 - 4 Thursday 38 Shailesh Kumar Diwedi
Indonesian 1 - 2 Wednesday 51 Yuni Ryan
Indonesian 3 Thursday 53 Betsy Phillips
Indonesian 4 Tuesday 48 Prapti McLeod or Jekson Kulla
Italian 1 - 4 Tuesday 51 Emanuele Pierotti
Japanese 2 Tuesday 58 Mimi Newton
Japanese 3 Wednesday 56 Yumi Gibbons
Japanese 4 Friday 57 Kazuko Sawada
Khmer 1 - 4 Thursday 37 Lay Seng
Korean 1 - 4 Thursday 57 Jeong Yoon Ku
Lao 1 - 4  Tuesday 38 Ouphaphone Phomma or Kanya Souksakoun
Malay 1 - 4 Wednesday 53 Raimy Che-Ross
Mandarin 1 - 2 Tuesday 53 Lin Zhao
Mandarin 3 Friday 58 Li Da
Mandarin 4 Tuesday 32 Lihong Rambeau
Polish 1 - 4 Thursday 56 Adam Rustowski
Portuguese 1 - 4 Wednesday 57 Cristina Morgado
Russian 1 - 2 Thursday 35 Kyle Wilson
Russian 3 - 4 Tuesday 57 Elena Govor
Spanish 1 - 2  Tuesday 56 Cecilia Tiberti
Spanish 3 - 4 Friday 55 Jorge Salavert
Tetum 1 - 4 Thursday 33 Adelaide Lopes
Thai 1 - 4 Wednesday 55 Numtip Lyons
Tok Pisin 3 - 4 Wednesday 38 Matilina Gendua (from 12 February)
Turkish 1 - 4 Friday 51 Ela Ozdemir
Vietnamese 1 - 4 Thursday 58 Dung Van Do

Enrolment Process

Registration to attend a Discussion Group is not required, however attendees must have their government-issued pass with them. When Australian/ACT Government staff arrive at the Diplomatic Academy, please go to the Level 1 Language Faculty reception desk to gain access to the facility. 

Immersion Courses


Immersion Courses have been postponed for the time being while the Academy investigates alternate ways for delivering these sessions. We will provide further information once available.

Purpose: Immersion Courses are designed to assist Australian/ACT Government staff maintain and improve existing language proficiencies.

Audience: Participants must speak the particular language, at the appropriate level, in order to attend the Immersion Course. If you are unsure of the Immersion Course level you should attend, it is recommended that you review the Australian Foreign Service Language Proficiency Ratings and attend a Discussion Group to discuss further with the tutor. Participation is open to staff from Australian government agencies and ACT Government staff, on a user-pays basis. 

Format: Courses require a full-time commitment of three days (note that a couple of select languages are only one day). They consist of formal and informal discussion, translation and interpreting, general discussion of contemporary news, print media and current affairs and including presentations from academics, colleagues and language specialists. There is no formal assessment as part of the Immersion Courses.

Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm.

Location: Diplomatic Academy, Level 1, 44 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT.  

Cost: 1-day course = $220. 3-day course = $660.

Note: Non-attendance and cancellations within 48 hours of the start of the course may be charged at full cost.

Immersion Course Timetable 2020 - CURRENTLY ON HOLD DUE TO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19


Language Level to Achieve Dates
Arabic 3 27 - 29 July
Bislama 3 23 September
French 2 2 - 4 November
French 3 6 - 8 April
French 4 20 - 22 July
Indonesian 2 12 - 14 October
Indonesian 3 30 March - 1 April
Indonesian 4 2 - 4 March
Italian 3 26 - 28 October
Japanese 3 15 - 17 June
Japanese 31 August - 2 September
Korean 3 7 - 9 September
Mandarin 2 16 - 18 March
Mandarin 3 18 - 20 May
Mandarin 4 10 - 12 August
Portuguese 3 9 - 11 November
Russian 3 14 - 16 September
SI Pijin 3 - 4 21 October
Spanish 2 24 - 26 February
Spanish 3 25 - 27 May
Spanish 4 17 - 19 August
Tetum 3 - 4 13 May
Thai 3 - 4 4 - 6 May
Tok Pisin 3 - 4 10 June
Vietnamese 3 22 - 24 June

Enrolment Process

To enrol, email the completed Immersion Course Enrolment Form to CIT Solutions (immersion [at] cit.edu.au) at least 4 weeks before the start of the course. Once you have received confirmation of enrolment from CIT Solutions, you will receive a credit card payment form from the Language Faculty. Payment will be processed at the time of the course.



  • If enrolment numbers are not adequate 4 weeks prior to the start of the course, it may be cancelled.
  • All withdrawals/cancellations must be advised to CIT Solutions by email (immersion [at] cit.edu.au) at least 48 hours prior to the start of the course. Non-attendance and late cancellations may be charged at full cost.
  • The enrolment process will be closed when the enrolment reaches the maximum number.