Anzac Day Schools' Awards

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28 October 2016

St Joseph’s College Geelong, Newtown, and Clonard College, Herne Hill, have been awarded the national prize for the Anzac Day Schools’ Awards. The Students from Clonard College and St Joseph's College participating in a wartime photography workshop.awards are designed to encourage initiative and creativity in the way that schools commemorate Anzac Day, with an emphasis on inventiveness balanced with tradition. 

On 22 April 2016, Year 9 students from St Joseph’s and Clonard College came together for a full day of commemoration and learning to remember Anzac Day and the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Activities included a formal ceremony with a keynote address by a veteran who spoke about keeping the Anzac spirit alive and a choice of 22 workshops that offered a visit to a Royal Australian Air Force museum, packing duffle bags, organising rations, simulating a Kokoda trek, making Anzac biscuits and looking at wartime photography.

Some of the St Joseph’s students reflected on the event and the meaning behind it:

To me, the spirit of ANZAC is more than just remembering the soldiers that died and fought in Gallipoli and all through the world wars. But it is about getting up at the crack of dawn, standing with a heap strangers you’ve never seen, thinking, we are safe. Thousands of people died, hundreds of families lost loved ones, and Australia’s population plummeted, all so that Australians today are safe. That the future generations of Australia can live in a free country.Students from Clonard College and St Joseph's College.   

(Finn Dripps, Year 9)

 What I got out of the ANZAC commemoration day 2016 was a new understanding of war, peace and everything in-between, the life of being an ANZAC and how the families of deployed soldiers would have felt. I also found the difference between ‘commemorating and celebrating’. Commemorating is the act of remembering or being reminded of the ANZACs. Celebrating is to have festivities and lots of fun. Although commemorating can be very fun, it is more about remembering our brave members of the defence force.  

(Angus Wiese, Year 9)

This experience has been something that many don’t get to experience. Visiting a museum and getting a private lesson about what war was like was good enough in its self, but having a real veteran come to share her knowledge and experience with us is something that you can’t forget. Captain Hailey Haynes showed taught us to be grateful for what we’ve and in times of neglect and complaint, to think about what our ancestors have been through.  

(Darcy Crucitti, Year 9)St Joseph's College Year 9 student, Patrick, plays the last post.

Personally the workshops were my favourite part of the day and I learnt so much from the people that I spoke to. The first workshop I participated in was about the food in the army today and how it is rationed and prepared. The second workshop I took part in was to meet a Vietnam veteran. It was one of my highlights of the day just to talk to these people, ask questions, and hear stories of their experience in the army. I was then selected to be one of the veteran’s tour guides and learnt so much about the devastation of war and how peace is always the best option in times of conflict.    

(Shaun Vigor-Smith, Year 9)

As state winners, the two schools receive $2000, plus an additional $1000 for being awarded the national title.