Fifteen-Year-Old Greek Australian Wins Prestigious Greek Language Award

Anastasia Rigopoulos. Credit: Lalor Secondary College/Facebook

Greek Australian student Anastasia Rigopoulos, age fifteen, was recently given the European Union Delegation to Australia’s “European Language Award” for her mastery of the Greek language.

Although she has never visited Greece, Anastasia started speaking Greek at home with her grandparents, and she continued her study of her ancestral language at the bilingual program at Lalor North Primary School in Victoria.

Anastasia has continued her education in Greek at Lalor Secondary College with her teacher Helen Ricco who has taught Anastasia since she was seven.

Ricco has witnessed Anastasia’s impressive development as a Greek student, noting that when she was younger, the language maven was actually very shy to speak in class.

Now, however, Anastasia has no problem speaking in front of others, and has excelled — “showing resilience, patience, dedication and passion towards her learning the Greek language” in the classroom, Ricco said.

Ricco noted that, as Australia is a country rich with many different cultures, it is important to “maintain and preserve the cultural significance of the Greek language along with other languages.”

When asked what she loves about Greek culture, Anastasia answered “everything about it is amazing: language, music, dancing, food, traditions, and history!”

The European Union Delegation to Australia’s award is given to distinguished speakers of European languages around Australia annually.

By offering the award, the European Union Delegation to Australia hopes to promote the study and appreciation of the linguistic and cultural diversity that is present in Australia today.