A group of Ballarat students have been chosen to trace the steps of those who served in the Vietnam War and reflect on the spirit of those who fought.
The Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, yesterday visited Ballarat Grammar to congratulate three students who have won a place in the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize, which provides young Victorians with the opportunity to travel to places where Australian men and women have served in war.
This year, 42 students across Victoria have won a place by submitting entries that considered the impact of war on Australian society.
Ms Addison said she was delighted to announce Ballarat Grammar students Megan Willey, Tom McKenzie and Hamish Hall were amongst the recipients.
Megan and Tom will head to Vietnam and Singapore in April.
Their 10-day itinerary will include the visits to Long Tan, Nui Dat, the War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi tunnels, Changi Prison, Changi Chapel and the Kranji War Memorial.
Hamish will take part in a Canberra study tour in July, visiting sites of national significance including Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial.
Ms Addison said the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize provides a unique chance for Year 9 and 10 students to reflect upon the spirit of the Australians who have fought for their country.
“This is a great way of remembering and acknowledging our military history by tracing the steps of those who served,” Ms Addison said.
“I’m just delighted that three of our local students have been chosen to participate in these important study tours to learn more about those who have served this country and honour those who lost their lives,” she said. “The students will have the opportunity to not only to build their historical understandings, but also to develop their historical empathy.”
“Congratulations to Megan, Tom and Hamish. I have no doubt they will all come away from this experience with a rich understanding of Australia’s military history and a deeper respect for those who serve their country, past and present,” Ms Addison said.
Ballarat Grammar Headmaster, Adam Heath, said the three students worked hard to be selected.
“We are proud of the tremendous respect our students have for Australia’s current and ex-servicemen and women, and the gratitude they feel for those currently on active service or others who have fought to defend our country, democracy and values,” Mr Heath said.
“The Spirit of ANZAC study tours will be a wonderful opportunity for these students to further experience the stories of those who have given so much in the service of their country. We are looking forward to these students sharing some powerful insights and learning upon their return,” he said.
Since 2004, more than 280 Victorian students have travelled as part of the Prize to locations including Lemnos, the Western Front, Singapore and Darwin.
The Andrews Government has opened applications for 2020 study tours, with both students and teacher invited to apply at dpc.vic.gov.au/soap.