Bridget Mahon with her parents Greg and Trish.
Bridget Mahon with her parents Greg and Trish.
14 October 2014

University of Queensland student Bridget Mahon is set to fly to Italy, thanks to her literary and linguistic skills.

The third-year Bachelor of Communication/Bachelor of Arts student has won the Premio Italia National Prize for University students of Italian competition with a 1500-word essay.

Bridget hopes to work and live in Italy when she graduates.

“I chose to write about how technology changes the way people read for pleasure and work, as Italian life has always been of interest,” she said.

“I did my best but because it was a national prize I didn’t expect to fare so well.

“It was the first time I’d written such a long essay in Italian.

Bridget’s grandfather immigrated to Australia from Treviso in Italy, and married in Australia.

“My parents were brought up in Australia and my mother didn’t speak Italian at home, but I jumped at the chance to start learning Italian from Year 8,” she said.

“I went on a school trip to Italy in Year 10 and then a Queensland Government Exchange to Switzerland in Year 11, which were wonderful opportunities to practice the language.”

The topic for this year’s competition was “il libro nell’era del web 2.0” (books in the 2.0 era).

The award will be presented at the Dante Alighieri Society this Friday Night (17 October), in conjunction with the Italian Film Festival.

Bridget majors in Italian, International Relations and Public Relations at UQ and studies Italian as part of a cross-institutional program with Griffith University.  

The Brisbane Universities Languages Alliance (BULA) allows students from UQ, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology to access language classes not taught at their university. 

Languages on offer include Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

The national Premio Italia Prize is offered through the Italian Embassy in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture in Melbourne and in Sydney.

Media: UQ Communications, or 3346 7887.