On the 23rd of September this year, Alex W (Year 11) was fortunate enough to embark on the Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholarship, lasting 13 days. Here is his account!
"Over the course of the trip, I visited areas of significance to our national commemoration of those who had served and died in armed conflict defending Australia. This included areas of regional NSW, including Cowra and Goulburn, returned to the cities of Sydney and Canberra and was able to visit Darwin and regional Northern Territory. As part of this, we visited various museums, exhibits and, most importantly, memorials and cemeteries. Some of the highlights of this trip included the Japanese Gardens at Cowra, planted and established to create peace between Australia and Japan after World War II, the Peace Bell in the centre of Cowra to further this unity between the two nations, but also with the rest of the world, the Rocky Hill War Memorial in Goulburn to remember those from the area who fought in World War I and the Adelaide River Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.
Last Thursday, I had the privilege of being able to share my experiences with the Secondary School at the Assembly. I talked to the secondary students about the importance of commemoration, and why we commemorate. One of the main ideas that I shared with the boys was the idea that whilst commemoration is the remembrance of those who fought in the war or who aided in the war effort, domestically or internationally, it is also a moment of reflection on our own lives and context, and whether we ourselves have any disputes we are involved in. This is a time to not only remember the cause that our soldiers, nurses and civilians fought for and supported but to resolve the disputes we currently have with others; be it a frivolous grudge or underlying issue that can be easily fixed with a conversation. I reminded them of the importance of reconciliation in this regard.
This scholarship was an amazing experience. I highly encourage all boys in Years 10-11 with a passion for military history to consider applying for this scholarship. It was a life-changing experience that provided me with further knowledge of Australia’s involvement in armed conflict throughout history and the manner in which we commemorate that sacrifice. It was also a great opportunity to make new friends who shared a common interest in history. If any boys are considering applying for this scholarship next year, I am more than happy to chat with them. Please also find below a link with all the necessary application information for this Scholarship."