Geraldton language whiz wins people’s choice prize in Indonesian competition

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Camera IconGeraldton's David Smith, 13, and his fellow Wesley College Indonesian students took out the people's choice award in the national competition. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian/Geraldton Guardian

A unique showcase of Indonesian and Aboriginal culture has won a Geraldton teenager a top prize in a national language competition.

Wesley College boarder David Smith, 13, and his two schoolmates are celebrating after they won the people’s choice gong at the National Australian Indonesian Awards last month.

The awards ask participants to use their language skills to put a creative spin on the presentation of traditional culture, art and music.

David said the trio had been up for the challenge after one of their teachers suggested they perform a traditional Aboriginal dance with Indonesian narration.

With the help of mentors from Wesley’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program, the group used music, costume and dance to tell the story of some of Australia’s iconic native animals.


Another student explained the meaning being the performance in Indonesian.


David said he had hoped to travel to Canberra for the awards ceremony, but COVID restrictions meant the Perth group tuned in to the event online.

He said the group was elated when they were crowned the winners of their category, with the three winning a trophy and $1500 to share between them.

David encouraged others to try their hand at learning Indonesian, saying it was an easy language to pick up with practice.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails