Proposal: Slovenia House in Ljubljana / Slovenska hiša

The proposal has been put forward by Aleksandra. L. Ceferin. It was read, and lodged by Peter Mandelj, a representative of the Australian Slovenian Emigrant community at the inaugural series of meetings of the Council of the government of Republic of Slovenia in July 2007.

Identifying the state of the Slovenian language and identity among the descendants of Slovenian emigrants in Australia, the so-called “lost generation” A.L. Ceferin, the president of the Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria Inc. in Melbourne, put forward two major proposals:

Slovenian emigrant web portal
Slovenia House in Ljubljana

The portal in major languages spoken by the descendants of Slovenian emigrants would provide the necessary information on issues of interest and/or concern  to the “lost generation”. These are the descendants of emigrants who have lost the necessary communicative skills in Slovenian language but feel the pull of Slovenian heritage and wish to reconnect.

Slovenia House in Ljubljana is an idea that has arisen after frequent visits to Slovenia by Aleksandra Ceferin since 1997. It followed from the observation of other emigrants and their families visiting Slovenia, particularly students of Slovenian language attending regular state school classes, including adults. It emerged that those who had relatives visited them, and were taken also sightseeing. Very few spent any time at the capital Ljubljana, absorbing some of the cultural wealth on offer. Those without relatives came as tourists, to visit the scenic and historical spots around Slovenia, taste the local specialities  and take with them some memorable photos. Slovenia House as envisaged by A.L. Ceferin would fill the lack and provide a connection to Slovenian heritage that many visitors of Slovenian descent are seeking. The concept is as follows:
Slovenia House/Slovenski dom ali Slovenska hiša. It is envisaged as a historical building in the old part of Ljubljana. It would function as a cultural embassy, a place for meetings, with space for lectures and smaller cultural events. There might be conference rooms, cyber and office spaces with facilities, reading room with publications in Slovenian and several major languages. The staff would facilitate and provide advice and guidance regarding courses, excursions, tours. It would also organize and facilitate events and excursions. Guides and dialogue partners might be provided by university students who could get credits through their activities and involvement with the descendants. Ideally the Slovenia House would also provide modest affordable accommodation / rooms for shorter periods. They might also organize participation in local cultural events, such as festivals and fruit harvesting. Such an institution could become a spring board for a deeper knowledge of Slovenia and investment for the future.

(English translation of the original text written by A.L. Ceferin, 25 June 2007)
Original text published on the Web, 28 July 2007,


Submissions 2007-2008







Aleksandra Ceferin

Aleksandra Ceferin (M.A., B.A., Dip.Ed.) has introduced Slovenian language as a school subject in Australian school system and founded the Slovenian Teachers' Association of Victoria in 1976. She has extensive experience in language education: as teacher, lecturer, curriculum coordinator, course writer, language consultant and manager, VCE State Reviewer and Chief Examiner. Since 1998 she has been the President of ISSV and the manager and chief editor of its projects. Aleksandra visits Slovenian annually, establishing and maintaining contacts with Slovenia, and initiating exchanges and cooperation between organizations. In 2004 she was the recipient of the National Education Award of RS Slovenia.