This year, more than 3600 students from Years 9 to 12 participated in the competition, reciting poems by Gianni Rodari, Primo Levi, Giovanni Pascoli, Edmondo De Amicis, Aldo Palazzeschi, Umberto Saba and Italo-Australians such as John Lando, Lino Concas, Emilio Lo Iudice and Marcello Sergio.

The additional literary competition, which provides students from Years 7 to 12 the opportunity to create and present their own poetic work, received an even higher number of entries this year.

Participants demonstrated an astounding writing ability and creative talent, presenting prose and verses which moved judges and evoked an array of emotions.

The auditorium was filled with teachers, members of the Italo-Australian community and parents and relatives, who watched on proudly as the winners of first, second and third prize received a trophy and book in Italian.

The event’s success confirmed that Italian is still a widespread language in Victoria, and is taught in not only urban, but rural schools.

The Dante Alighieri Society in Melbourne thanked the University of Melbourne for its continued support, along with Fernando Cardinale, president of the Casa d’Abruzzo Club, who awarded the prizes to the winners.

The Casa d’Abruzzo Club has helped fund the awards ceremony for years.

Dante Melbourne also thanked the McCormick family, who continues to be a benefactor of the society.

At the end of the ceremony, Ester and Mary Marcuccio, event coordinator and vice president of the society respectively, were thanked for their efforts in organising the competition.

The Dante Alighieri Society in Melbourne hopes to see even more students participating next year!