Queensland students prepare for ANZAC trip of a lifetime

Published Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 08:26 AM

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

Five very lucky Queensland students are counting down the days until they take off this Sunday, 21 April on their two-week overseas adventure to Gallipoli and the Western Front.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the recipients of the inaugural Premier’s Anzac Prize were busy packing their bags before flying to Istanbul.

“These students are the envy of many Queenslanders as they prepare to travel half way across the globe to honour Australian service men and women,” Mr Langbroek said.

“Three boys and two girls, ranging in age from 14 to 16 years, will attend the dawn service at the Anzac Commemorative Site on Anzac Day and visit battlefields, war memorials and cemeteries across Belgium and France.

“In preparation for their trip, each student has been gathering information about three ANZAC soldiers.

“They will attempt to locate the soldiers’ grave or memorial and lay a flag, poppy, stone as well as a personal message.

“I will be following the group’s journey on line where the students will post daily blogs, photos and videos, so that everyone back home can share in their experiences.”

Spinifex State College (Mount Isa) Year 11 student Elijah Douglas said preparations for his first trip overseas included personally crafting a didgeridoo to present to a school in France.

“I will have the chance to play my didgeridoo at Anzac Cove before handing it over to one of the schools we visit in France,” Elijah said.

Year 10 Kirwan State High School student Kyle Walsh said he had been researching the stories of his great, great, great uncle, another local soldier who served in France and Major Hugh Quinn who fought and died in Gallipoli.

“I’m also preparing to make a speech at the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing in Belgium,” Kyle said.

Year 10 Christian Outreach College (Toowoomba) student Kristina Madden thanked the families of two local Anzac soldiers who had given her information about the location of their graves.

“This is my first overseas experience and I look forward to meeting the other students and building new friendships,” she said.

Year 10 Noosa District State High School student Jack Graham said he and his fellow travellers had participated in a series of web conferences which had helped them with their trip preparations.

“We’re visiting several different countries so it’s good to have some knowledge of the cultural sensitivities and the different laws that apply in foreign countries,” Jack said.

The eldest in the group Emma Kearney from St Andrews College in Cairns said she was looking forward to everything about the trip.

Mr Langbroek said the Queensland Government would provide $1 million over the next three years to sponsor 50 high school students to attend Anzac Day services overseas.

Follow the 2013 tour to Gallipoli and the Western Front online at http://education.qld.gov.au/students/grants/scholarships/anzac/2013-tour.html

[ENDS] 16 April, 2013

Media contact: Danita Goodwin 0439 886 652