2017 Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship

2017 Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship

The 2017 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship tour departed Sydney in late September for London and the start of a once in a lifetime experience. Twenty-two very excited scholars boarded a plane with their accompanying teachers and tour leaders, looking forward to visiting significant battlefields of the Western Front in both Belgium and France.

During their time in Ypres, Belgium, the scholars represented NSW at the official centenary commemorations of the Battle of Polygon Wood, and also participated in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Stefan Vujanic and Amelia Aguiar at Menin Gate2

The 2017 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholars at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. Photo courtesy of Bruce Inglis.

The scholars were also fortunate to meet Governor of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) and his wife Mrs Linda Hurley. After sharing lunch together the group gathered to watch two students and the Governor collect soil samples from Polygon Wood for the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project.

Soil collection at Polygon Wood

Scholar Jack McIntyre collecting a soil sample as His Excellency the Governor looks on. Photo courtesy of Bruce Inglis.

The Scholars visited numerous significant sites along the Western Front, including Tyne Cot Cemetery, Fromelles Museum and Military Cemetery, and the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. Each scholar completed a research project on a WWI Serviceman or woman and shared that information with the group at different locations throughout the tour. A real highlight was the opportunity to dress in uniform and experience the ‘Life at the Front’ program at the Passchendaele 1917 Museum in Belgium, which gave the scholars a deeper understanding of the experiences of Australian soldiers in the trenches. 

Life at the Front program Passchendaele 1917 Museum

The 2017 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholars participating in the “Life at the Front” program at the Passchendaele 1917 Museum, Belgium. Photo courtesy of Adam McKeown.

The 2017 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship program was managed by the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs, Department of Justice, in consultation with the NSW Department of Education. Scholars were selected on the basis of their genuine interest in Australian history and the Anzac tradition, their positive contribution to their school community and their ability to be outstanding representatives of their school and the state of NSW. The scholarship provided the students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australia’s involvement in the Great War and the Anzac tradition and many have since shared their experiences with their local communities. Accompanying teachers will also share the knowledge they gained through the tour with colleagues in their own schools and beyond with essays published in 2018 editions of Teaching History, a quarterly journal published by the History Teachers Association of NSW.

2017 Scholarship recipients

Student

School

Fatimah Abdallah

Kogarah High School

Amelia Aguiar

St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown

Zac Barlow

Finley High School

Rayleigh-Rose Biffin

Camden High School

Tyler Cashel

Hennessy Catholic Colllege

Nicholas Claridge

De La Salle Catholic College Caringbah

Benjamin de Vries

Chatswood High School

Brock Farquhar

Broken Hill High School

Julian Fedele

Freeman Catholic College

Joshua Freeman

St Philip’s Christian College, Port Stephens

Matthew French

Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, The Entrance Campus

Mary Ghribian

Delany College

Kayla Godeschalk

Jamison High School

Grace Gourley

Northern Beaches Secondary College – Mackellar Girls Campus

Liam Hodkinson

Picton High School

Rachel Hudson

Tweed River High School

Jack McIntyre

Lithgow High School

Pippa Pryor

Pittwater High School

Lachlan Thuaux

Glenmore Park High School

Nicholas Trobec

Knox Grammar School

Stefan Vujanic

Bonnyrigg High School

Waiwai Yeap

Abbotsleigh School