A chance at throwing another curveball at Anthony Albanese inspired one of the nation’s top spellers to claim the crown for a second year running.
Zachary Cheng, 14, returned to the Prime Minister’s office on Monday afternoon with a plan to catch Mr Albanese out once again.
‘He’s not a great speller,’ the Melbourne student joked.
Zac, Abigail Koh, 12, and nine-year-old Samuel Wright were crowned champions across three age groups in the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee this year.
Zachary Green, Abigail Koh, 12, and nine-year-old Samuel Wright were crowned champions across three age groups in the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee this year
Last year, Mr Albanese didn’t get four letters into ‘magnanimous’, meaning generous or forgiving, before Zac jumped in to correct him.
Unfortunately things didn’t get any easier this year after Zac asked him to spell ‘balalaika’, the word for a Russian stringed instrument.
‘I don’t even know what that is … How can I be expected to spell Russian,’ Mr Albanese laughed, before offering to spell ‘Russian’ instead.
Perth students Abigail and Samuel also joined in on the fun of ganging up on the Prime Minister.
Abigail, who scored a perfect 30/30 in the years 5-6 group, said she knew she wanted to combine her love for English and music and asked him to spell ethnomusicological, meaning the study of music in its social and cultural contexts.
Despite the Prime Minister’s own passion for music even he wasn’t able to correctly guess how it was spelled.
‘I can say it,’ the Prime Minister offered.
Samuel, who took home the years 3-4 crown, asked Mr Albanese whether he knew how to spell ‘Caesar’.
Unluckily, the Prime Minister scored 0/3, incorrectly spelling it ‘Caeser’, before having to dash out to vote in a division in the House of Representatives.
Four of the last six Spelling Bee winners have hailed from Western Australia, begging the question of what about Perth makes their students such good spellers.
‘What is in the waters over there?’ Mr Albanese asked.
Perth students Abigail and Samuel also joined in on the fun of ganging up on the Prime Minister
The Spelling Bee, which is run by Kids News and News Corp Australia, had nearly 60,000 students from 890 schools sign up for the competition.
Part of the winners’ prize was the chance to meet Mr Albanese at Parliament House.
News Corp’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said Spelling Bee was just another example of the organisation’s ‘investment in our youngest generations’.
‘By making it fun, it helps instil in our children a genuine, lifelong love for learning through the written word,’ she said.
‘As News Corp Australia’s community ambassador, I am passionate about education as a force for good, creating positive change, and believe it is critical to our long term prosperity.
‘Making a difference through news and advocacy is the essence of News in the Community, where education is a key priority and Kids News an essential part of how we inform, advocate and inspire to build a better Australia.’
Kids News Editor Diana Jenkins revealed the competition would be back for its fourth year in 2024.
‘It’s a joy connecting with school communities around the country to support literacy for every young Australian,’ she said.
‘Fun and free, the Bee brought together 57,453 registered students from 890 schools thanks to all the amazing teachers who believe as passionately as Kids News does that spelling skills change lives and create better futures for our children.’