Joseph Lo Bianco

Emeritus Professor Joseph Lo Bianco

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 1999
  • Section(s): European Languages And Cultures, Asian Studies


Joseph Lo Bianco held the Chair of Language and Literacy Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne until June 30, 2020, the official date of his retirement. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of Language Australia Ltd: the National Languages and Literacy Institute, of which he was the founder. He has been commissioned to advise on language policy and literacy planning in South Africa, Hawai’i, Italy, New Zealand, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Western Samoa and other Pacific Island countries, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland and Slovenia. He was a member of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO for 10 years. He set up the Melanesian Literacy Project as part of the International Literacy Year in 1990 and has written and published extensively in the area of literacy theory and the social and cultural implications of the multiple semiotic systems in formal education.

He was awarded the Order Of Australia (AM) in June 1998 “for service to the development of language policy and planning in Australia and overseas”, the title of Fellow of the Australian College of Education in 1997 “in recognition of (an) outstanding contribution to education”, was admitted as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 1992 and in June 1999 he was admitted by the President of the Republic of Italy to the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine di Merito della Repubblica Italiana. A non-exhaustive list of other recognition includes the Outstanding Service Award of AFMLTA, the Australian Language Teachers’ Federation in 2011; the International Language Teachers’ Federations “Excellence” award in 2016; the Excellence medal of the Universitas-21 International Universities Consortium in 2017; Distinguished Career and Distinguished Research Awards of the University of Melbourne Education School in 2017 as well as faculty teaching excellence and curriculum innovation prizes, and in 2020 he was awarded the Distinguished Scholar and Service Award by the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia.

Some 2019 and 2020 publications are Lo Bianco, J. and Aronin, L., (2020), Dominant Language Constellations: A Perspective on Present-day Multilingualism. Springer

Lo Bianco, J. (2020), Ideologies of sign language and their repercussions in language policy. In Maartje De Meulder and Kristin Snoddon (Eds) Ideologies in Sign Language Vitality and Revitalisation. Special Issue of Language and Communication.

Lo Bianco, J. (2019). Uncompromising talk, linguistic grievance, and language policy: Thailand’s Deep South conflict zone. In M. Kelly, H. Footitt & M. Salama-Carr (Eds.), Handbook on Languages at War (pp295-331).

Lo Bianco, J. (2019). Language planning and policies for bilingualism. In A. De Houwer & L. Ortega (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of bilingualism (pp. 152172).

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.