• Tony Bosworth

Hawkesbury students in with a fighting chance to capture Anzac Day award

Students in the Hawkesbury are being encouraged to learn about veteran service, peace-keeping operations, and Australian wartime history by asking the question, ‘what does commemoration look like in our community?’

The Anzac Day Schools’ Awards are now open and they are an opportunity to learn more about Australian military and pace-keeping contributions since Word War One.

There’s also $5000 up for grabs, plus a trophy and certificate to the school which comes up with a theme centring on the importance of commemorations and asks students to look at how society and commemorations have changed over time. And there are other prizes too.

Senator for Western Sydney, the Hon Marise Payne, launched this year’s Awards this morning and said they were about honouring the service and sacrifice of Australians from the First World War to modern day conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

“Australia has a rich military history and the Anzac Day Schools’ Awards are an opportunity for students in the Hawkesbury to learn more about our contribution over the years and how we now commemorate as a community,” Senator Payne said.

“The Awards also help ensure our future generations grow up with a recognition and respect for the sacrifice of all who have served in the protection of our country and way of life,” Sen Payne said.

“Being home to RAAF Base Richmond, one of only four RAAF bases in New South Wales, local students have a unique insight into our history.

“I encourage all schools across the Hawkesbury to take part in this competition and I look forward to seeing what students come up with.”

The national winner’s school will receive $5000, a trophy and a certificate. There will also be state and territory winners, with the schools receiving $3000 and a certificate. Winners in the special categories will receive $2000 and a certificate.

Entries for the Awards are now open and will close on Wednesday, June 30. For further information, including on award categories, judging, criteria and how to apply, visit the Anzac Portal website - https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/research-education/competitions/anzac-day-schools-awards

The NSW Winner in 2020 was Holsworthy High School. St Patricks’ College for Girls, Campbelltown, received the 2020 Innovative Commemoration Award.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs have also begun the process of mailing-out special resources to schools and community organisations.

The resources, which include posters, educational materials including flyers and the book Shifting Tides: Australia and the Pacific in the Second World War, will commemorate 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force, which we will mark on March 31, as well as the war in the Pacific and the end of the Second World War.

Ideas for entries include:

  • Commemorating Anzac Day or Remembrance Day in the 21st century

  • Changing attitudes towards commemoration over time

  • Engaging with veterans, hearing their stories

  • Experiences of families of service men and women

  • The changing roles of women in war

  • Commemoration in a multicultural community

Students could:

  • conduct historical research

  • interview veterans

  • tell stories

  • create artworks

  • make a movie

  • create a website

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