Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous, an established Cypriot academic who lived and worked in Melbourne for 23 years, had announced the forthcoming edition of her book entitled 100 YEARS of History From Terra Santa to Saint Mary’s School of Lemesos (1923-2023), in which she explores the history and operation of the school, which was founded in 1923, in a time when Cyprus was still under British occupation.

As Papadima-Sophocleous argues, the school “has been operating for 100 consecutive years under the direction of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart and with the initial aim of educating the Catholic children of the Latin Community of Cyprus.”

The academic said that from the start,” the school “realised that, in addition to the children of the Latin Catholic community, the curriculum it offered also attracted other students, boys and girls, whose families appreciated the school’s values and sent their children to be educated there.”

This only meant that the school realised the need “to accept their diverse identity” and to “implement a form of multilingualism and multiculturalism, long before these were enshrined, theorised and widely applied as concepts by the scientific community.”

100 YEARS of History From Terra Santa to Saint Mary’s School of Lemesos (1923-2023) Photo: Supplied

Papadima-Sophocleous concludes that “the purpose of the school continues to be the education of male and female students, based on anthropocentric and Christian values and principles, which will be useful in their later life as well as in their preparation for their academic and professional endeavours and career, as well as in shaping them to citizens with ethos and willingness to contribute to the social, economic and cultural life of Cyprus and beyond.”

The established academic of Applied Linguistics believes that her book “maps the hundred-year history of the school and its wider contribution to the educational activities of the place, incorporating rare archival and photographic material.” Papadima-Sophocleous is a renowned academic author, having either authored or contributed to more than twenty-five books.

In contrast, she has contributed chapters to more than an equal number of volumes. She also has an impressive record of publications in academic journals, as well as conference presentations.

While in Australia – where she spent most of her professional life – Papadima-Sophocleous taught French, Greek, and Italian in several high schools, served as a language learning materials development for the Department of Education of Victoria, and taught worked Teaching Languages Methodologies and Computer Assisted Language Learning at La Trobe University and RMIT University. She is currently a researcher at the Cyprus Interaction Lab at Cyprus University of Technology.