Friday 6 September 2019

2019 Japanese Speech Contest

The Frankston Susono Friendship Association held its annual Japanese Speech Contest at Monash University - Peninsula Campus on Friday 6th September. The Association is a group of volunteer citizens who administer Frankston’s sister city relationship with Susono, Shizuoka in Japan on behalf of the Frankston Council. FSFA have worked to promote Japanese culture, the study of Japanese language plus student and cultural exchanges since the sister city relationship was established in February 1982.

The Association invited students from local primary and secondary schools for this year’s contest and 73 entries were received. Contestants were required to recite a short self-introduction followed by a set piece based on the story of Tsuru no Ongaeshi (The Grateful Crane) and were judged by a panel of Japanese speakers. Contestants competed in Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Japanese Environment (Primary), Junior Secondary, Intermediate Secondary, Japanese Environment (Secondary) and Senior Secondary divisions.

A full table of individual and perpetual trophies!

Retiring FSFA Chairperson Peter Patterson welcomed all contestants, their parents and teachers before explaining the work undertaken by the Association and the importance of the annual contest in promoting the teaching of Japanese language in our local schools.

The evening’s program started with the primary divisions kicking off proceedings and over 30 nervous and excited contestants presenting before the judging panel. Individual trophies were awarded to the top three students in each division, with the top contestant in each division also awarded a perpetual trophy which is displayed with pride at their school for the next 12 months.


Lower Primary (Prep to Year 3):

1st           Seb S (Overport Primary School)

2nd          Emily B (Derinya Primary School)

3rd           Lucy S (Derinya Primary School)

Commendation Award: Audrey P (Overport Primary School)

Lower Primary winners Lucy, Emily, Seb and Audrey with Peter Patterson

Upper Primary (Years 4 to 6):

1st           Alyssa L (Derinya Primary School)

2nd          Lucas J (Derinya Primary School)

3rd           Naomi F (Derinya Primary School)

Upper Primary winners Alyssa and Lucas

Japanese Environment (Primary):

1st           Joe C (Overport Primary School)
2nd          Nalu B (Balnarring Primary School)
3rd           Saya P (Overport Primary School)

Japanese Environment (Primary) winners Saya, Nalu and Joe with Peter and trophies

Primary Division winners with the perpetual trophies which will be displayed at their schools

The secondary schools followed with students presenting a more detailed self-introduction and set piece in each of the 4 divisions. At the conclusion of these speeches our newest Executive Committee member, former exchange student to Susono and judge Sam Warrington commented on the impressive standard of all contestants and recognized the enormous challenge of memorizing and presenting a speech in the Japanese language, especially given that the senior division students are required to write, memorize and present a 3 to 5 minute speech on a Japanese themed topic.


Junior (Years 7 & 8):

1st           Caspar B (Haileybury - Newlands)

2nd          Subekchha P (Frankston High School)

3rd           Smruti S (Haileybury - Newlands)

Junior Division winner Caspar with Peter and trophies

Intermediate (Years 9 & 10):

1st           Anirudh K (Haileybury - Newlands)

2nd          Charli E (Frankston High School)

3rd           Sophia L (Haileybury - Newlands)

Commendation Award: Amélie R (Mornington Secondary College)

Intermediate winners Anirudh and Charli

Japanese Environment (Secondary):

1st           Sarah F (Frankston High School)

2nd          Luka R (Haileybury - Newlands)

3rd           Hannah N (Frankston High School)

Commendation Award: Len C (Naranga School)

Japanese Environment (Secondary) winners Sarah and Luka with Peter and trophies

Senior (Years 11 & 12):

1st           Alesha W (Hillcrest Christian College)

2nd          Gerald D (Frankston High School)

Senior Division winner Alesha with Peter and trophies

Secondary division winners Caspar, Anirudh, Sarah and Alesha with Peter Patterson

Individual highlights of the evening were Sarah F winning the Japanese Environment (Secondary) Division for the 6th year in a row - a clean sweep! Joe C winning the Japanese Environment (Primary) Division for the fourth time in 5 years! Anirrudh K winning the Junior and Intermediate Divisions in consecutive years. Plus every contestant who displayed commitment, courage and worked hard to practice and deliver high quality speeches in their second, or possibly even third language.

A huge thank you to our 5 wonderful judges who gave up their time to come along and assist us conduct another very successful evening. We also appreciate the contribution of both the students' families and especially the teachers and language assistants at their schools who have spent many hours supporting and encouraging their students. Our contest would not be possible without your high level of commitment. Arigatou gozaimashita!

And best of all, the night was over in time for us to pack up and make it home to watch Collingwood defeat Geelong! GO PIES!!