Students win Premier’s Anzac Prize

Published Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 at 11:02 AM


The Honourable Campbell Newman

Minister for Education, Training and Employment
The Honourable John-Paul Langbroek

Premier Campbell Newman has announced the names of five Queensland high school students who will travel to Gallipoli and the Western Front for Anzac Day next year, as winners of the inaugural Premier’s Anzac Prize.

Mr Newman congratulated the Year 9, 10 and 11 student winners for securing a place in the first of three student Anzac Day delegations sponsored by the Newman Government.

“It is wonderful to see so many young Queenslanders who are proud of our Anzac traditions and are eager to learn more about the sacrifices made by our past and present military forces,” Mr Newman said.

“In the process of creating some very moving and thought provoking multimedia presentations for this competition, students have captured the essence of the Anzac spirit and developed a passion for keeping it alive for future generations.”

Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the Anzac Prize was a $1 million Newman Government election commitment to send 50 high school students to Turkey, France and Belgium over the next three years.

“The Premier’s Anzac Prize encourages high school students to delve deeper into an important part of Australia’s history and then make the symbolic journey themselves to the battlefields of World War I, where many thousands of Australians gave their lives for their country,” Mr Langbroek said.

“Despite the competition being in its inaugural year, the selection panel had their work cut out for them in choosing only five student winners to be part of the 2013 delegation.

“The good news is that there will be more opportunities for students to apply to be one of the five students to make this trip in 2014, or to be part of the major delegation of 40 students to travel overseas for the Anzac centenary in 2015.

“We are working with the Australian Government to ensure that Queensland students will still be able to visit the Gallipoli site around the centenary of Anzac, if not on the actual day.”

Mr Langbroek said the selection panel was chaired by Premier Campbell Newman and included three serving members of the Australian Defence Force, two RSL Branch Presidents and an Education Queensland representative.

Student winners will be accompanied on their Anzac journey by teacher chaperones and will report back to their schools about their experiences.

[ENDS] 12 December 2012

Media Contact: Carrie Barlow 0409 110 657

Winners of the 2012 Premier’s Anzac Prize

Kyle Walsh, Year 9, Kirwan State High School, Townsville

Kyle Walsh is the son of an army officer and has two great, great, great uncles who served with the Australian Imperial Force in Europe during World War I. His own ambitions include serving a year in the Australian Military Police after high school.

Kyle entered the Premier’s Anzac Prize competition to expand his short-film making abilities. As a keen film-maker, Kyle has created several short films to promote awareness of charities like The Salvation Army and Youth beyondblue. Kyle plans to create a presentation of his Anzac Prize experience to share with fellow students and community groups.

Jack Graham, Year 9, Noosa District State High School

Jack Graham’s involvement in the Australian Army Cadets, career aspirations and family’s Defence Force heritage spurred him to enter the Premier’s Anzac Prize competition. He would like to study mechanical engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy and complete officer training at the Royal Military College.

Jack’s father has been a serving member of the Army Reserve for 18 years and was deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2008. His grandfather served for 20 years in the RAAF and two ancestors, LT Wynnum Groom Hennessey and PTE Bert Hansen were killed on the Western Front while serving with the Australian Imperial Force.

Kristina Madden, Year 9, Christian Outreach College, Toowoomba

Kristina Maddern’s late grandfather served in Papua New Guinea for four years including time at Milne Bay and Kokoda and was part of the 12th Australian Air Maintenance Platoon. Her father was in the Army Reserves.

On her return, Kristina wants to encourage more people to participate in Anzac Day marches and events as a way to honour those who sacrificed their lives for their country. She also hopes to generate greater interest in history among her fellow students and pass on her knowledge of the Anzac values to younger children.

Elijah Douglas, Year 10, Doomadgee State School

Elijah Douglas was motivated to enter the Premier’s Anzac Prize inspired by the courage, heroism and mateship of Australian soldiers. Elijah is looking forward to visiting Gallipoli and the Western Front to learn more about Australia’s war history and understand how the Anzac soldiers were feeling when they landed on the beach ready for battle.

When he returns from his Anzac Prize overseas trip Elijah aims to recount his experience to his community and convey the friendship and respect that soldiers had for each other and the sacrifices they made.

Emma Kearney, Year 11, St Andrew’s Catholic College, Cairns

Emma Kearney is a history enthusiast with a strong family connection to the defence force. Earlier this year Emma won a trip to Canberra as a state runner up in the 2012 Simpson Prize, where she visited Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum.

Emma’s grandfather fought in the Second World War in Papua New Guinea at Milne Bay and for many years the family have attended the Dawn Service and Anzac Day March in Cairns and then gone home to watch the Brisbane Anzac Day March on television to see her grandfather march with the 61st Australian Infantry Battalion.

Emma is contemplating taking part in a Gap Year program with the Australian Defence Force.