Greek-Australian Student Wins First Prize in SBS National Languages Competition

Eirini Vergaki from the Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) Language and Culture School was awarded the first prize in the category of ‘Primary Aged 8 – 12’, of the SBS National Languages Competition. SBS Radio announced the winners in Sydney, last Monday.

The winner from each of the four age categories was invited to attend the awards ceremony at SBS in Sydney where they received a trophy, an iPad Pro for themselves and one for their school, along with an unlimited rides pass to Luna Park in Sydney.

“Eirini’s award in the SBS competition among candidates from all languages in the 8-12 year age group, fills us with joy and pride,” said the principal of the Greek Language and Culture School of the GCM, Manos Tzimpragos. “The emotional way in which Eirini understands and expresses the importance of learning the Greek language, only optimism about the future of Greek language in our country can cause. Congratulations to Eirini and to all the students who supported this great initiative of the SBS. ”

SBS encouraged students across Australia, who are learning a language other than English, to submit a 30 second video in their language summarizing, “What learning a language means to me?” The competition was open to all schools across Australia and received thousands of entries from students studying a range of different languages including French, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi and Arabic.

SBS Director of Audio and Language Content, Mandi Wicks, said: “As the world’s most multilingual public broadcaster, we are proud to run the SBS National Languages Competition and inspire young Australians and communities to embrace language learning. We received entries representing more than 70 languages, which was a real reflection of Australian society today. Our winners demonstrated their passion, love and dedication to learning different languages.”

Eirini’s winning entry was:

“I’m going to tell you a song, a story. Because the language that I love is only one. Mother, it has given birth to many others. Mother to languages small and big. The Greek language passes the boundaries. I love it so much, it never forgets me. Its words never end. It fills anyone’s empty hug. So beautiful, special, unique The language that I adore is Greek.”