Queensland high school students will continue to have the opportunity to experience Australia’s wartime heritage first-hand thanks to the Palaszczuk Government and the Returned and Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch).
Education Minister Grace Grace said the two organisations had signed an agreement to continue The Premier’s Anzac Prize program for another three years.
Ms Grace said the annual prize gave eight students and two teacher chaperones a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Anzac tradition and get a greater understanding of how the Anzac legacy relates to modern Australian life.
“Over the past seven years, 112 Queensland students and 22 chaperones have travelled to World War I battlefields as part of the of the Premier’s Anzac Prize,” Ms Grace said.
“It is becoming its own tradition, and it’s great that it will continue with the support of RSL Queensland.
“This means more Queensland students can share the experience of those who’ve gone before, remembering the sacrifices of the past and exploring how Anzac traditions still resonate in 21st century Australia.”
RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said it was important that young people continued to recognise how service people from past conflicts contributed to making Australia what it is today.
“RSL Queensland is proud to help the next generation of Queenslanders understand what our Diggers went through, and to preserve the memory of those who suffered and died for Australia,” Mr Ferris said.
Ms Grace said nominations were now open for the 2020 program.
“The program is open to eligible students in Years 8 to 11 from state and non-state schools right across Queensland,” she said.
“Students and their chaperones will travel to the historic battlefields of Europe for an invaluable experience of the Anzac tradition, as Queensland students have been privileged to do since 2013.
This year’s winners returned from their trip a few weeks ago, full of excitement and tales of the experience. Their trip took in London, France and Belgium, and activities included re-enacting a day of the life of soldier.
The students were also guests at social evening dubbed ‘Cobbers Night’ where they swapped stories and danced with locals from the French municipality of Fleurbaix.
“Cobbers Night was an amazing experience full of talking, dancing and laughter. It was so interesting listening to all the locals, and talking with them about our trip,” Pimlico State High School Year 11 student Ella Magner said.