Japan Speech and Cultural Contest winners announced

Winners of the Japan Speech and Cultural Contest were announced on Friday at the Ballarat Town Hall.

Madi Pollock, 15, and Therese Thomas, 14, competed against 18 other contestants to take out the top two spots in the awards.

The competition involved researching Ballarat’s sister city Inagawa and ways they could contribute to the community, which they then made a speech about in Japanese. 

The pair will now be going on a two week visit to Inagawa, in late November.

The contest has been developed to foster Ballarat’s relationship with Inagawa, something that has existed for 29 years and is part of a 14 year partnership between the City of Ballarat and the Ballarat Japanese Teachers Network.

While Ms Pollock started learning French and Japanese in year seven, she said what interested her most about Japanese was the completely new and different alphabet. For Ms Thomas, part of the attraction was her interest in anime, something she wanted to watch without using sub titles.

Winning smiles: Madi Pollock and Therese Thomas were winners of the Japan Speech and Cultural Contest, which will see them travel to Ballarat's sister city Inagawa for a two week visit in late November. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Winning smiles: Madi Pollock and Therese Thomas were winners of the Japan Speech and Cultural Contest, which will see them travel to Ballarat's sister city Inagawa for a two week visit in late November. Picture: Lachlan Bence