Consulado General de España en Melbourne
@ Madrid: 26.02.2021 14:46 @ Melbourne: 26.02.2021 23:46
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​Dra. Lilit Thwaites y el Cónsul General Español en Melbourne
Condecoración Lilit Thwaites
​Parte del discurso pronunciado por Juan Carlos Gafo, Cónsul General de España en Melbourne, durante la ceremonia de entrega a la Dra. Lilit Twaites de la Cruz de Oficial de la Orden del Mérito Civil:
"Dr. Lilit Thwaites was born in Canada into a multicultural family of Czech, Polish and Russian background.

She studied Spanish language and literature at McGill and Toronto Universities, where she completed her PhD in 1979, specialising in contemporary Spanish literature and, in particular, the work of women writers.

Dr Thwaites moved to Australia in 1981, where she began her academic career at La Trobe University. For more than 35 years she has worked in the University’s Spanish Program, initially as a tutor, then later as Program Director and finally as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of  Languages and Linguistics.

Currently, she is an Honorary Research Associate at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (La Trobe University), an accomplished translator of literary works from Spanish into English and an invaluable resource in relation to anything to do with Spanish culture and literature, particularly, including with regard to visits of Spanish writers to Australia. 

She has taken part in most Writers’ Festivals in Australia in various capacities including as panel chair or member, lecturer, moderator and interviewer. She has organised a huge number of activities with Spanish writers including, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Isabel Allende, Javier Cercas, Dolores Redondo, Marcos Giralt, Teresa Solana and  Elia Barceló.

Dr Thwaites has lectured and written about Spanish literature and translation between the English and Spanish languages. She has collaborated with many prestigious Australian institutions and universities including the NGV, the Wheeler Centre, the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Monash University, Australian National University, the University of Sydney and, of course, La Trobe University. 

She has published several books, book chapters, notes and many literary translations. She is a member of the Executive Committee of AALITRA (Australian Association for Literary Translation), member of the Executive Committee of ILAS (Institute of Latin American Studies, La Trobe University) and member of the Editorial Advisory Board of JILAR (Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research). 

I could go on and on detailing Dr Thwaite’s commitment to Spanish language and literature and the recognition she has received.  In 2015 she won the NSW Premier’s Literary Prize (Multicultural Early Career Translator). In 2016 she was awarded the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Travel Grant.

However, at least as significant and impressive as her academic and professional achievements, are Lilit’s personal qualities.

She is a warm and caring person, always with a smile on her face.  She is always available for the Spanish community and willing to assist in whatever way with the Melbourne and Sydney Consulate-Generals, with the Embassy in Canberra, with the Cervantes Institute, with ACE (Acción Cultural Española) and other Spanish institutions – both official and private.

Lilit has been a major advocate of Spanish language and culture in Australia generally, and in the city of Melbourne in particular.

The Spanish Order of Civil Merit was established in 1926 and recogniszes “extraordinary service by Spanish and foreign citizens for the benefit of Spain”. The decoration was proposed by the Spanish Consulate General in Melbourne and I am presenting it this evening on behalf of the Spanish Ambassador to Australia. The decoration has been awarded to Dr Thwaites by His Majesty King Philippe VI.  

This decoration is a very significant Spanish honour for a highly valued supporter of Spain. 

Congratulations Dr. Thwaites and many thanks for your great support for our country, its people and its culture."


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