ILC is a proud sponsor of StuditaliA, a prize organised by the Department of Education International Services under the patronage of the Brisbane Italian Consulate.
Now in its 23rd year, the StuditaliA prize encourages and promotes excellence in Italian studies in Queensland schools, and rewards the achievements of Year 12 students of Italian.
For more information click here.
The StuditaliA awards ceremony 2018
On Friday 24 August 2018 there was an air of excitement in the 12th floor large conference room at Education House as guests began arriving in anticipation of the 24th StuditaliA awards ceremony. The StuditaliA prize started in 1994 and was created to reward excellence among Year 12 students studying Italian in Queensland schools. The prize includes a month-long trip to Italy including full board at the “Convitto Paolo Diacono” and the opportunity to attend an Italian high school in Cividale del Friuli (near the city of Udine).
Under the Italian and Australian flags, the seven StuditaliA 2018 winners took their seats in the front row. Master of ceremonies Gina Ferraro began proceedings by introducing the Kelvin Grove State College Junior School Choir who sang both the Italian and Australian national anthems.
The Honourable Grace Grace, Minister of Education, mentioned the importance of strong ties between Italy and Australia and congratulated the students on their mastery of a second language. These great partnerships, said the Minister, offer opportunities to refine linguistic skills beyond the classroom. The Minister took the opportunity to warmly thank the other guest of honour, dott. Ludovico Carlo Camussi, consul for Queensland and Northern Territory, for his support and involvement in StuditaliA. Dott. Camussi has served on the StuditaliA selection panel since taking up office 5 years ago and his valued collaboration has contributed to the high profile the award continues to achieve. The Minister congratulated the winning students and ended her speech on a humorous note asking them if they knew that the people of the world are divided into two groups: those who are Italian, and those who want to be!
Dott. Camussi then addressed the audience, specifying that Australia is now 1st in the world regarding the number of students studying Italian at school. This shows Italian is no longer linked to ethnic background but is studied for its beauty and musicality. He wished the students a positive experience immersed in the Italian culture.
The winning students then showed off their mastery of the Italian language by each delivering a short presentation on the theme ‘L’italiano e la rete, le reti per l’italiano’. Dylan Anger from Townsville Grammar School said that although social media is condemned for the cyberbullying and hatred it brings, it is important to remember that if used properly it can be unifying in bringing people together from across the globe, improve language skills, and maintain friendships.
Lillian Carson, also from Townsville Grammar School, spoke of the beauty of Italian and quoted the words of Thomas Mann: ‘For me there is no doubt that the angels in the sky speak Italian’. She highlighted how social media has had an effect on the Italian language with the introduction of online slang and the regression of proper grammar and spelling. However, the Accademia della Crusca, the national Italian Institute that monitors the development of the Italian language, maintains that among social media users there is nevertheless a positive interest in grammar and language as demonstrated by the Crusca’s 50 thousand FaceBook followers and 300 thousand Twitter followers. As Italian evolves with the Internet, it becomes a language for all generations.
The internet can be a useful tool to boost confidence and help connect meaningfully when speaking Italian says Carolyn Farago from Brisbane State High School. Internet programs which help access fluent speakers, Italian media and music and apps like Duolingo are indispensable in giving students of Italian an added learning environment outside the classroom. Similar sentiments were expressed by Veljko Matovic also of Brisbane State High School who said that the Internet greatly assists the learning of language and culture through being able to access music, videos, news, sport and TV shows. Isaac Ridolfi from Kelvin Grove State College was of the same opinion, agreeing that social media is a very useful tool in learning a language at your own pace.
Declan McMahon, also from Brisbane State High School, spoke on the importance of Memes in Australia, Italy and the world. Memes offer a tool to express one’s opinion or contribute to a discussion about politicians, social events, festivals, etc. According to Declan, recent discussions about the banning of Memes should never occur as doing so would mean removing a part of freedom of speech.
Finally, Nikita Simonov from Brisbane State High School spoke on the networking effects of spreading Italian through cinema, exchange programs and Internet apps that offer a safe platforms allowing learners to interact and speak with other likeminded and age appropriate learners of Italian.
The seven winners then received their prizes from the Minister and the Italian Consul. The ceremony ended with two former StuditaliA winners 2017, Luisa Randall and James Humphris, reminiscing (in Italian!) about their unforgettable experiences and memories during their stay at Cividale del Friuli. They were unanimous in their thanks to the organisers and sponsors of StuditaliA for continuing to offer such a worthwhile prize and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for winners to improve their knowledge of Italian language and culture.