Vicspell back at it

Members of Oxford University Press and Vicspell, holding selected trophies and dictionary prizes, launched the competition on April at Docklands. L to R: Lee Walker (OUP Director of Product and Publications), Trevor Sowdon (Vicspell), Norm McLennan (Vicspell) and Patrick McNally (OUP Primary Sales Consultant). Pictures: SUPPLIED

Vicspell is again up and running.

Founded in 2004 by Gippsland volunteer teachers, originally as Gippspell. The competition, which takes a spelling bee format, is open to all students in years 5 to 8.

Its aim is to ‘Promote and reward good spelling’. The zone finals are based on shire boundaries. Colour certificates are awarded for each school representative and a handsome glass trophy for zone winners. State final winners win bigger trophies and the Oxford two- volume National Dictionary.

Importantly, students only compete against their own year level.

Past state final winners from this shire include: Kane Chigwidden (Beaconhills CS, 2007), Clayton Gubbles (Beaconhills CS, 2008), Samuel Sebastion (Berwick Fields PS, 2010), Aranna Saha (Berwick Fields PS, 2012), Brittany Long (St Francis Xavier CC, 2013), Sasuni Hirumuthugoda (Kilberry Valley PS, 2014), Joel Joy Kidagan (Kilberry PS, 2017), Calum Metcalfe (Berwick PS,2018) and Mehul Sathish (Berwick Fields PS, 2022), Audrey Buenaagua (Tulliallan PS, 2023) and David Ockerse (St Thomas Aquinas College, 2023).

Each school pays a one-off annual fee of $20 covering each student participant. This fee has remained unchanged since 2004 thanks to the generosity of Vicspell’s sponsors: Oxford University Press, Bendigo Community Bank – Neerim South and Triangle Trophies.

The zone finals are conducted in August and the State final on September 3. The Casey zone final will be at Berwick Fields PS on Wednesday, August 21.

Schools wishing to enquire about Vicspell can contact Trevor Sowdon at