Sr Christina Dinh has spent more than 16 years supporting the community of St Jerome’s Catholic Primary Punchbowl.
She has helped classroom teachers, families, and Vietnamese children new to Australia since 1998. This includes translating the teacher’s instructions until the students grow confident with the English language, guided by her gentleness and quick smile.
“I sit with them and as the teacher explains things I explain in Vietnamese so they can follow the instructions,” she said.
“They catch up very, very fast. A few months and then they take classes by themselves, and I check up to see what they need, that’s all.
“I am blessed with a sense of humour. I joke and make fun with them to help them learn and they have a laugh.
“Nowadays I don’t think the parents need me, but they feel confident if I am there.”
The Josephite nun first took vows in Vietnam 45 years ago in 1966 and joined the Sisters of St Joseph in 2000. Principal Des Fox said Sr Christina was an important link between the school and Vietnamese families in the school community.
“She knows the customs, the culture, the thinking, and they talk freely with her,” he said.