By Jessica Anstice
Pakenham Filipino Hana Laan took out first prize in the SBS National Languages Competition age four to seven category.
The nationwide initiative aims to celebrate a love of learning languages and language retention in Australia, with more than 3600 entries from all states and territories, the competition spanned 90 languages, including Indonesian, German, Japanese and Auslan.
Entrants were required to answer: “How does learning a language make a world of difference to you?”
Selected based on her unique story and creative approach, Hana replied with, “Because I’m learning Filipino, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Justine, and I can understand each other.
“I’m able to make them feel loved even though they’re in the Philippines. I’m also able to make them happy.”
SBS audio and language content director Mandi Wicks said the company is “thrilled that more Australians are embracing the competition each year”.
“With the power to deepen cultural understanding and a sense of belonging, multilingualism
drives significant benefits for individuals, employers and societies as a whole,” Ms Wicks said.
“As countries become increasingly diverse, those that proactively nurture these capabilities are not only reaping the immediate benefits, but are preparing effectively for the future.”