Griffith Japanese language student, Tyalla Williams, travelled to Sydney to compete in the 50th Anniversary of the Australian Japanese Language Speech Contest Finals.

Tyalla was recently named Open Division Grand Champion in the Queensland competition in September.

Participants come from all over Queensland to compete in four divisions including high school senior and tertiary students.

Japanese lecturer, Dr Kumiko Katayama said, ‘It is a great opportunity for Japanese learners to get together and show their Japanese skills. I feel privileged to take part in such an important event for Japanese language teaching and learning”

Fellow Griffith student Mary Higgins won the Open Beginner category, and Tharin Dokmaingean placed second in the Queensland event.

“I was unsure what to expect at the state finals, but was extremely nervous and did not believe that I’d place let alone come first,” Tyalla said.

“I wanted a platform where I could utilise my Japanese skills and practice my speaking ability.”

“I enjoy learning Japanese at Griffith because there is a connection between the students and teachers that just doesn’t exist in other classes.”

When Tyalla graduates, she has her sights set on working with the UN or for a Japanese company.

“It has been my goal since high school to live and work in Japan.”

The Queensland Japanese speech contest is held in conjunction with the MLTAQ Gold Coast Languages Speech contest. Hosted by Griffith University and sponsored by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Brisbane.