Tamilians are generally more passionate about their language and culture. This is even more true when you are far away from your motherland. Two friends had a conversation about the lack of Tamil skills in their own kids and were contemplating how it was becoming increasingly difficult for full time working parents to impart language skills in addition to regular school work and other activities. It was noticed that most other Tamil parents were going through the same concerns but were not sure how to address these. A chance meeting by a set of like minded parents spawned the idea of a community run Tamil school. This meeting happened sometime in August 2011 and was the first unofficial meeting of the yet to formed Tamilar Inc.
A thorough discussion on how to accomplish this vision ensued and two concepts were brought to the table. Running a garage Tamil class or seeking expertise of the Victorian School of languages. Due to the minimised administration overheads, low cost to parents it was decided to go the VSL way. VSL, which is a part of the Dept of Education provided financial (in the way of subsidised student fees), facility and curriculum support.
Next step was the challenge of convincing the Victorian School of Languages to start classes in Tamil. VSL, a government school provides an avenue for school children to study a language other than English (LOTE) that is not offered in their schools. VSL can offer only a limited number of classes in a school year. Every additional class they run is a loss for them due to the subsidy to students. So, they work on a principle of most value for money.
When we approached VSL it was advised that we make a proposal under a group rather than as individuals. Ganesh, Feroz, Arun, Meena, Radhika, Sundar, Roopa and Meena go together and resolved to start a community group and make a formal proposal to VSL. Amongst other names, Tamilan, Amutham, Sudar, Muthamilan, Senthamilan were discussed and finally Tamilar was chosen.
A proposal was sent to VSL on 9th Sept 2011 and it was favourably seen. Then continued a series of meetings with VSL and the search for prospective students and teachers in the Wyndham area. The Tamil classes would eventually start in Feb 2012.
Tamilar Inc was incorporated on 22nd November 2011 and what started out as a discussion in the car and at social gatherings ended up as Tamilar Inc.