SBS Radio encourages young Australians to participate in language competition

Nearly 1.3 million people have migrated to Australia during the past five years, with a substantial increase in the number of people who speak a language other than English at home.* Reflecting on Australia’s growing multicultural society, SBS hopes to inspire young minds by contributing to language retention with a nationwide competition.

To celebrate a love of learning languages, the SBS National Languages Competition, is back for 2017. In its inaugural year, the competition received close to 20,000 entries in partnership with the Community Languages Association (CLA) and with participation only from CLA students.

This year, the nationwide initiative is open to all school students across Australia, who are learning a language other than English. Young Australians, aged four to 18 years, can enter the SBS National Languages Competition 2017 online by going to The competition will be live from 9:00am on Monday 24 July until midnight on Friday 1 September, 2017.

With a guardian/parents’ consent, participants will need to create a 30 second video summarizing, “What learning a language means to me?” in a language other than English.

The more creative the better and entrants can choose to sing, enact, dress up in national costume, or simply describe their love for languages. Once the video is uploaded, they will also be required to fill in an entry form along with an English transcript explaining the video content.

SBS Director of Audio Language and Content, Mandi Wicks, said: “As one of the world’s most multicultural and multilingual broadcasters, SBS Radio is proud to run this fantastic competition to encourage young Australians to explore and celebrate their language learning. The competition will highlight Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity and we look forward to receiving many entries from children showcasing their language skills for their chance to win.”

Entrants are categorised into four groups: Junior Primary (Aged 4 – 7); Primary (Aged 8 – 12); Junior High School (Aged 13 – 15); Senior High School (Aged 16 – 18). There are four grand prizes, one winner from each age category, who will each receive an iPad Pro 12.9 inch 256GB for the winner and one for their school.

The winner along with one guardian will also be invited to the awards ceremony to be held at SBS in Sydney; along with a full day pass for two to Luna Park in Sydney. 

*Source – Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Census of Population and Housing