The Let Me Tell You a Story Award Ceremony presented prizes and certificates to winning students of the bilingual storytelling competition. Entries were received in over 15 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Finnish, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Punjabi, Urdu and Vietnamese. The multilingual skills of the students did not go unnoticed by guest speakers, both of whom reflected on their own multilingual backgrounds.
Mr Allan Blagaich, Chief Executive Officer at the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, had an important message for the children:
“Keep your language alive! You need to learn more than your mother language and English – you need to add another language because it will come in handy – and don’t be embarrassed by it. Australia is the most amazing tapestry of all of us that have come and all of those that came here before us. Somehow we have to make this country work and we have done it better than anyone else.”
Ms Claire Sly, Manager of Curriculum at the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia reflected on her own cultural Welsh background and language revival movement in Wales:
“We need to feel proud of our culture of our language. It is only through culture and languages that our communities are drawn together and we understand one another… Languages provide schools and communities with a vehicle to pass culture and knowledge on. For me I have seen none better example of this than in our Aboriginal community schools where the Aboriginal elders, that have the role and the opportunity to work with students to remind them of their culture, their language and their Country.”
Dr Susanna Iuliano, Battye Historian Special Project Manager at the State Library of Western Australia announced “Sharing Our Diverse Heritage” a new project, in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Interests to select and digitise heritage materials in different languages.
Thank you to MC and MLTAWA Vice President Helen Kuehs and congratulations to our winners.