A Statement from the Governing Council of the Croatian Studies Foundation

The Croatian Studies Foundation of Australia (CSF) wishes to formally inform the greater Australian Croatian community that on 18 October 2023 a white paper was released by Macquarie University suggesting that Croatian alongside four other European languages will cease to be offered.

From the time of being informed of this proposal, the CSF has worked with our key stakeholders to understand the implications of this white paper and how to best respond to ensure the interests of the Croatian community in Australia are preserved.  

As many may not be aware, currently the CSF is in a tripartite agreement with Macquarie University and the Croatian Government through the Ministry of Science and Education to ensure Croatian is offered at Macquarie University. This tripartite agreement is due to expire at the end of 2024 and is a continuation of tripartite agreements that have been in place for the last 20 years.

The CSF has sent official feedback to the university on the proposal and for a response to our questions on the proposal. Many of our key and long-term supporters have offered support and given their feedback to the Vice-Chancellor and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. The CSF supports the petition that has been circulated by Croatian Studies students and which has already been signed by more than 3000 people.

The CSF remains committed to supporting Croatian Studies and the Croatian Studies Centre at Macquarie as it has done so for the previous 40 years. We remain committed in our primary function in ensuring that the Croatian language remains offered within tertiary level education in Australia.

We will continue to update the community on any new developments and will be exercising all options in our power to ensure our community is represented.  

The CSF’s creed is the poem Drago Ivanisevic’s poem Hrvatska and may this be the inspiration to all
Croatians in Australia:


Ni brda nisu,
ni doline, ni rijeke, ni more,
ni oblaci nisu,
ni kiša, ni snijeg nije moja Hrvatska…
Jer Hrvatska nije zemlja, kamen, voda,
Hrvatska je riječ koju naučih od majke
i ono u riječi mnogo dublje od riječi,
i ono dublje s Hrvatskom me veže,
s Hrvatskom Hrvata,
s patnjama njinim,
sa smijehom i nadom,
s ljudima me veže,
te ja kao Hrvat brat sam sviju ljudi
i kud god idem sa mnom je

Drago Ivanišević

Neither are the hills, 
nor valleys, nor rivers, nor sea, 
neither are the clouds, 
neither rain nor snow is my Croatia… 
Because Croatia is not earth, stone, water, 
Croatia is a word I learned from my mother 
and that in words much deeper than words, 
and what ties me deeper to Croatia, 
with Croatia Croats, 
with their sufferings, 
with laughter and hope, 
it connects me with people, 
and I, as a Croat, am the brother of all people 
and wherever I go Croatia is with me.

Drago Ivanišević

On behalf of the Governing Council of the CSF

Anthony Gurlica