Summary of Winning Entries
Compton Primary School
National Primary Winner and South Australia Primary Winner
Compton Primary School held its own Dawn Service inviting student families and the
wider Mount Gambier community. The ceremony was well planned and great thought
went into its presentation. The service started with a piper, and was followed by the
guest speaker, a Vietnam veteran and representative of the Mount Gambier RSL
Association, and the Ode was read by an Australian Defence Force soldier who
served in East Timor and Iraq. A local historian read an original letter from a German
soldier, and Anzac poems were read by school captains.
Students created a „Trail of Honour‟ consisting of a piece of wood with a plaque and
poppy attached, displaying the service details of 67 Second World War soldiers
named on the Compton Soldiers Memorial Hall. Upper primary students made life-
size silhouettes of soldiers and displayed them on the „Wall of Honour‟. A replica
trench was constructed in the school yard and students gained an understanding of a
soldier‟s life on the front line.
Compton Primary School‟s entry shows an impressive array of in-class learning and
a variety of research tasks undertaken by all year levels. An Australian Defence
Force soldier gave a presentation to each class and answered questions. Upper
primary students researched and presented their findings on a soldier from the
Compton Soldiers Memorial Hall and a local historian provided an interesting history
lesson. Local wartime images were displayed of Australians at war giving students an
understanding of how war affected their town. Junior primary students studied
„Simpson and his Donkey‟ and partook in a role play of wounded soldiers being
brought to doctors and nurses by Simpson.
The national judges noted that the high level of planning and commitment to hands-
on learning across all the grades and the engaging activities with local veteran, ADF
and community involvement has made this an outstanding entry. There was strong
evidence of good teaching practice, quality learning, and strong student participation.
Merredin Senior High School
National Secondary Winner and Western Australia Secondary Winner
Merredin Senior High School continues to provide quality entries to the competition.
The research project and outcomes they chose have strong links to the curriculum.
The students based their project on the contribution made by Australian Prisoners of
War to Anzac legends and traditions.
The primary focus of their project was to choose a Prisoner of War (POW) to
research and prepare a scrapbook of this service. Ten of the students were able to
identify a veteran from their local community who had been a POW. It was also an
opportunity to locate and contact family members to interview. The secondary focus
of the project was to write poetry and monologues about the POW experience
including the effects felt by those left at home.
The students were involved in a broad range of research. They visited the Merredin
Military Museum where the Sandakan display provided a strong learning opportunity.
They also visited the Battye Library in Perth and the Leighton Battery Tunnels near
Fremantle. These experiences also assisted the students with their learning and
empathy for POWs.
The Year 10 students of Merredin Senior High School conducted a respectfully
delivered school Anzac ceremony. They sent out invitations to community members
and created the Order of Service.
National judges felt that the immersive learning activities and the theme of POWs
were outstanding, and the sharing of students‟ learning were highly commendable.
State Winners - Secondary Category
Australian Capital Territory – no award in 2011
Tasmania – no award in 2011
Singleton High School
New South Wales Secondary Winner
Singleton High School coordinated a well-planned whole school Anzac Day
ceremony based on the unusual theme of “An entertainer‟s view”. The School
approached “Little Pattie” to be the guest speaker and to talk of her experiences
being present in Vietnam and performing during the Battle of Long Tan.
A wide range of subject areas contributed to the commemorative event including the
hospitality class providing morning tea, the agriculture class decorating the stage, the
history classes learning about the Vietnam War and the concert band playing songs
from the 60s era. The students created a powerpoint presentation on entertainers in
wartime covering their roles, experiences and the importance of their concerts to the
troops at the time.
The students also marched in the Singleton Anzac Day parade with a wreath-laying
and a speech delivered by the vice-captain of the school on the Battle of Long Tan.
The school learning and its involvement in the wider community commemorations is
to be commended.
Katherine School of the Air
Northern Territory Secondary Winner
This was an outstanding entry using the best information technologies and
educational practice to teach students in Years 7-9 about the significance of Anzac
Day commemorations. The Middle years of School of the Air provides an educational
forum for students living in remote areas to learn and interact via webcam lesson
The students using Interactive Distance Learning webcam (IDL) discussed the
importance of Anzac Day and what Anzac Day meant to them. Through these
discussions, online learning, hands-on learning from wartime artefacts and a
residential camp in March they developed a short film dedicated to the Gallipoli
The film was divided into four sections starting with the Call, an introduction to the
men of the Australian and New Zealand Corps who volunteered. This was followed
by the Landing and the Trenches describing the experiences of the landing and the
soldiers‟ experiences. The last section is the Ceremony with how we remember
soldiers both past and present.
The film was part of an Anzac Day ceremony broadcast to over 200 families in rural
and remote areas of the Northern Territory. Their ceremony included a primary choir,
a student created a wreath, and a dedication to Katherine‟s recently fallen Australian
Defence Force soldier. This commemorative element was both poignant and a
reminder that the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women continues to
resonate with modern-day peacekeeping.
Ayr State High School
Queensland Secondary Winner
As recognition of the 70th anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk, Ayr State High School
chose to focus its Anzac Day commemorations on this aspect of Australian wartime
The history students of Year 9 and 10 worked in groups to research a theme and
create a display which was featured in the school resource centre. Learning evident
within the displays included dioramas, poems, research about soldiers and
The student executive organised and facilitated the school Anzac Day ceremony
which included invitations to ex-servicemen from the Australian Defence Force. The
ceremony included the reading of the poem “Not a hero” and the concert band also
played followed by the school vice-captain providing a speech about the Siege of
Tobruk. The speech was accompanied by a powerpoint presentation from research
undertaken by three senior students and was entitled “How a gallant garrison held a
mighty foe at bay”.
The school also involved the members of the Air Cadets who assisted in the school
ceremony along with participating in the district‟s Anzac Day commemorations. Other
students attended the Dawn Service in Ayr on behalf of the school and approximately
sixty students participated in the march. A book instead of a wreath was laid at the
town‟s cenotaph as a mark of respect.
South Australia Secondary Winner
Kildare College has a continuing interest in developing high quality documentary
films on wartime themes and for 2011 they have chosen to focus on stories from
veterans of the Vietnam War with a documentary called „Voices from Vietnam‟.
A select group of Year 10 students researched the background to Australia‟s
involvement in the Vietnam War and they then made contact with a number of
Vietnam veterans. It become obvious to the students that this was a story well worth
telling and long overdue.
The students were supported through the interviewing, filming and editing processes
by the ICT teacher to create the documentary. Once completed, the school launched
the documentary and invited community and veteran guests along with the Vietnam
veteran talent from the documentary.
The project highlighted not only the learning about the personal experiences and
wartime history of the veterans but also the personal impact on the students. Their
post unit self assessments showed the impact on students with one student stating
“this whole project and listening to the current soldiers stories really touched me; it
really took me down the path of their lives.”
The school students also participated in the Dawn Service at Keswick Army Barracks
where they laid a wreath. The entry was of a high standard and the work of the
students to create the documentary is to be commended.
Lyndhurst Secondary College
Victoria Secondary Winner
Lyndhurst Secondary College has presented a very strong entry aligned with the
Australian curriculum and showing evidence of learning in the areas of History,
English, Civics and Citizenship. The entry met all the criteria with strong connection
with past and present members of the Australian Defence Force and links with the
Students in Year 7 and 11 undertook a number of learning activities including
analysing the Kokoda documentary, visiting Ferntree Gully‟s 1,000 steps, writing
letters to ex-students now serving in the Defence Force and numerous activities
related to understanding Anzac Day‟s meaning. The students also visited the Shrine
of Remembrance to understand more fully the meaning of commemoration and
arranged a talk by a guest speaker from the Vietnam Veterans‟ Association of
The Year 11 students organised the Lyndhurst Secondary College Anzac Day
ceremony with invited guests from the Cranbourne RSL. The ceremony was both
respectful and traditional with the students undertaking an evaluation to gain
feedback with the aim of improving the commemoration ceremony in 2012.
STATE WINNERS- Primary Category
Harrison Primary School
Australian Capital Territory Primary Winner
The entry submitted by Harrison Primary school was based around the school‟s
Anzac Day ceremony which was organised and led by the year 5/6 class.
The ceremony was very well planned, and great thought was put into creating a
respectful atmosphere and in decorating the ceremony stage. Students wanted to
create a reflective atmosphere which they established by making an arrangement of
small crosses on the stage and surrounding them with hand made paper poppies.
The Australian Flag was displayed centre stage, and a wreath and paper poppies
were laid under it during the ceremony by class representatives.
The year 5/6 students recited „Ode to Soldiers‟ a poem the class wrote in memory of
those who have served and sacrificed their lives in wartime. The school sung the
Australian National Anthem, and recorded versions of the New Zealand National
Anthem and „Waltzing Matilda‟ were played. The famous speech by Ataturk, founder
of the Turkish Republic was also recited. This was noted by the judging panel as a
more global reflection included in the ceremony.
A high level of community involvement was evident with current Australian Defence
Force soldier making a presentation. After the last post, and a minute‟s silence, the
rouse was played by a member of the Australian Defence Force RMC Band. At the
conclusion of the ceremony the school gathered in the school courtyard to watch a
performance by the Federation Guard Precision Drill Team.
St Therese School
New South Wales Primary Winner
St Therese School has used a range of activities to involve and educate students
about Anzac Day. The whole school learning outcome was to help students
understand why we commemorate Anzac Day, and to reflect on themes of mateship,
courage and sacrifice. Learning activities included interviews with veterans, making
of a documentary, scrapbooking, cooking Anzac biscuits, making poppies, research
on Simpson and his donkey, and creating artwork.
A number of students attended the Mascot Community Anzac Day ceremony where
school captains laid a wreath and students were able to speak with veterans.
St Therese School also held its own traditional Anzac Day ceremony with veterans
and parents invited to attended.
A documentary was made by students of the St Therese history club and film crew.
The documentary questioned key community members and students on Anzac Day.
The questions included
- What does Anzac Day mean to you?
- Why do you think it is important to remember those who fought for Australia?
- What do you believe the Anzac spirit means?
- Do you believe the Anzac spirit still exists today? Can you give an example?
This innovative learning experience allowed students to do first-hand research and
gain an understanding of the importance of Anzac Day from different perspectives.
A scrapbook was made by the St Therese Art club incorporating photographs that
students had taken during both ceremonies, and photographs of in-class learning
and artworks made by students in each year group.
The St Therese entry showed a high level of innovative learning spanning across all
year levels. The community involvement was of an extremely high level, and the
school found that student interviews with veterans and community representatives
Bradshaw Primary School
Northern Territory Primary Winner
Bradshaw Primary School held a respectful Anzac Day ceremony which was led by
four senior student leaders. At the conclusion of the ceremony each student placed a
hand-made poppy on the wall under a friendship banner for the 1st Brigade to show
their respect. Students also had the opportunity to meet and talk with two Indigenous
ex-service members who were guests at the ceremony.
Bradshaw Primary School‟s entry showed a good level of veteran and current serving
member involvement. A local soldier spoke with students before his deployment to
Afghanistan and also upon his return. He described to students the role of the
Australian Defence Force in assisting the Afghanistan Army to prevent acts of
terrorism within their country. Students then wrote letters, drew pictures, and
gathered items to send to Afghanistan for our Australian soldiers.
Upper primary school students studied the picture book „Simpson and his Donkey‟ by
Mark Greenwood. They discussed the connection between the past and themselves
and the values of mateship, bravery and loyalty. The lower primary school students
studied „Only a Donkey‟ by Celeste Walters and undertook role play exploring values
of mateship, compassion and kindness.
Strong use of technology was evident through students using the Australian War
Memorial KidsHQ website to share their opinions and ideas through blogs and word
wall. The learning activities showed excellent engagement with the veterans
community and serving members. There was evidence that the major themes were
well researched and documented in a combination of music, literature and history.
There was real engagement across the school and the sense of enjoyment in all the
West Moreton Anglican College
Queensland Primary Winner
The West Moreton Anglican College entry was well presented consisting of an
impressive range of learning activities. All learning was based on the Australian
National Curriculum with students using Australian War Memorial & Department of
Veterans‟ Affairs resources.
The entry demonstrated excellent evidence of whole school learning, both in year
groups and as a school community. All year levels studied a different topic during
library sessions relating to animals in wartime. Class discussion, research and
analysis was reflected in the creation of stunning visual displays. Through these
activities the students learnt the meaning of the word Anzac; learnt about courage,
endurance and mateship; learnt why and how we commemorate Anzac Day; and
learnt some basic facts about the battles of Gallipoli.
Students participated in the Ipswich community Anzac Day ceremony, and also held
their own school ceremony. There was a high level of community involvement at the
school ceremony. An address was given by a member of the Australian Defence
Force on the topic of „Resilient Anzacs – meeting adversity with courage, self-
discipline, sacrifice & reliability‟. Other invited veteran and community guests read
aloud „Simpson & his donkey‟ by Mark Greenwood whilst the book illustrations were
shown on a powerpoint presentation. At the conclusion of the ceremony students met
members of the local military transport squadron who had brought in two camels for
students to ride and learn facts about. This was an outstanding way to engage with
some unusual but still effective animals who serve in times of war. The teachers are
to be commended for their thorough planning.
Albuera Street Primary School
Tasmania Primary Winner
Albuera Street Primary School used a range of innovative approaches to involve and
engage students on the theme of the Anzac spirit. It was an impressive entry from a
small inner city school of approximately 200 students. The entry resonated with
respect and commemoration, it strongly demonstrated involvement and relevance of
the spirit of Anzac to the whole school, veteran community and wider community.
At the Dawn Service two year 6 students laid a wreath on behalf of the school at the
Hobart Cenotaph and a number of year 6 students and teachers marched down
Macquarie Street carrying banners of the 6th Division AIF, 3rd Australian Light Horse
Regiment and the 3rd Australian AIF- Western Front. Students reflected on and
shared their feelings about the significance of the Anzac Day ceremony and its
impact on them personally.
Year 6 students researched an Anzac Day assignment on aspects of the history of
the First World War. They created a powerpoint presentation with supporting
information, covering aspects from the start of the First World War to the Returned
Services League. One year 6 student composed a moving original piano piece which
she performed at the ceremony. This learning culminated with the year 6 students
leading the Albuera Street Primary School Anzac Day ceremony.
The entry demonstrated strong evidence of learning and connections with school
curriculum. Year 6 students had a high level of involvement in the community Anzac
Day ceremony, and shared their learning with the whole school.
Diamond Creek East Primary School
Victoria Primary Winner
Diamond Creek Primary School entered a beautifully presented album demonstrating
a wide range of student learning activities centered around Anzac Day. This invovled
the year 6 enrichment group working on a unit called „Australians at War‟. Their
learning included research into a veteran, the making of Anzac biscuits, a „memory
box‟ project, visits by the veteran community and commemorative ceremonies. The
DVD documented students' learning through singing, role plays and discussing the
roles and experiences of veterans with students dressing in service uniforms.
The entry was based on an outstanding unit of work that successfully addressed
learning outcomes in both VELS and the Australian curriculum. The innovative
approach of the "memory boxes" involved students dressing as their chosen veteran
and standing at their display to answer questions. This was an innovative vehicle for
learning which resulted in a high level of engagement by students.
The students researched their subject thoroughly using the nominal rolls and
websites, personal artefacts and documents from home, along with a visit to the
Shrine of Remembrance. The learning outcomes from this unit of war achieved a
significant level of empathy and understanding of Australian wartime service by the
Kingston Primary School
Western Australia Primary Winner
Kingston Primary School opened in 2009 and has established a strong tradition of
commemorating Anzac Day. Prior to Anzac Day all students were involved in
activities which helped them to understand the meaning of Anzac Day and the Anzac
All students participated in the creation of a beautiful installation artwork „For the
Fallen‟ made of colourful leaves representing soldiers who stand tall but are wearied
by war. The symbolic link of the fallen leaves and fallen soldiers and both their
service and their loss were recognised as part of the theme „Precious‟. Other artwork
was also displayed for the Dawn Service and the strong creative and commemorative
artwork was a reflection of excellent work done by the students.
Other classes invited a Second World War veteran to share his wartime experiences
with them. As a result of his visit the students created the illustrations for a book of
this veteran‟s service and experiences. A special presentation ceremony gave the
students the opportunity to give the veteran a copy of the book when he attended
their Dawn Service. The school intends to speak with other veterans and produce
more books that will be available in the school library. Sharing the experiences with a
veteran demonstrated an understanding of the Anzac spirit in the students.
Two hundred members of the school community attended the school‟s Dawn Service
and enjoyed a cooked breakfast afterwards. The tradition which this new school is
fostering with its school community around the commemoration of Anzac Day and
the strong learning outcomes is commendable.
SPECIAL CATEGORY WINNERS
Playford Primary School, South Australia
Special Category Winner: Best innovative activity
Playford Primary School provided an innovative contemporary dance piece to the
well-known John Schuman song „I was only 19‟. The contemporary dance piece
engaged all the students in one class and worked through different scenes: from
soldiers being sent to war, the danger and death in a war zone, the bond of
mateship, and concludes with an Anzac memorial to honour the fallen soldiers.
Throughout the dance there is a strong understanding that soldiers bring the war
back in their minds when they return home and the impact and cost it has on their
minds. The student dancers all showed commitment to the seriousness of the subject
and were respectful in their presentation.
National judges were impressed by the idea of story dance and the outstanding level
of commitment by both boys and girls in upper primary to give meaning to the cost of
war for young servicemen and women.
Bloomsbury State School, Queensland
Special Category Winner: Best local history research
Bloomsbury State School‟s entry displayed an outstanding level of research into its
local community history. Students in years 4 to 7 investigated local landmarks and
researched local veterans to gain a stronger understanding of the history of
Bloomsbury during the Second World War.
The students visited the Soldiers Memorial Hall, discovering many names of past
students on the Roll of Honour and were able to link the names to local families and
Students who researched soldiers listed on the Memorial Hall developed an
understanding of their roles, experiences and sacrifices. Through this research they
were able to empathise with the impact of war on individuals, families, and on their
community. Research was also undertaken on the school during war time, this
uncovered a further link to five soldiers from the Memorial Hall also having been
students within the first six years of Bloomsbury‟s opening.
National judges found the entry demonstrated a high level of local research, strong
learning and community support through an impressive range of learning activities.
Giralang Primary School, Australian Capital Territory
Special Category Winner: Best veteran and community involvement
The entry submitted by Giralang Primary School shows an impressive and long
standing relationship between the school and the Rats of Tobruk Association.
Giralang Primary School has had ties with the Rats of Tobruk since 1999 and is the
custodian of their national banner. For the past twelve years the school has been
building a relationship with this group of diggers and in 2011 they were invited to take
part in 70th anniversary ceremony on Anzac Parade in Canberra. Students
accompanied the Rats of Tobruk to lay wreaths against the memorial, the school
principal gave a speech explaining the importance of their long-standing relationship
and a student recited the Ode from memory.
The school ceremony was led by the school council representatives, the Australian
and New Zealand national anthems were played and a senior student recited the
Ode. Local Australian Defence Force and veterans were guest speakers, and the
Last Post and Rouse were played by a bugler.
The strong link to the Rats of Tobruk was evident in the inclusive involvement of the
Association with the school‟s program around Anzac Day and also at an annual
Christmas luncheon. Praise on their links has come from the 2008 Governor-General
Michael Jeffery, „in setting a wonderful example by commemorating Anzac Day and
honouring the sacrifice of Australian soldiers both past and present‟.
Judges were impressed with the strength of the longstanding relationship between
Giralang Primary School and the Rats of Tobruk nurturing an understanding of their
service and sacrifice especially now that their numbers are declining.
St Ursula’s College , Queensland
Special Category Winner: Best commemorative art
St Ursula‟s College entered a poignant sculpture called „Poppy‟s Flowers” by senior
student Brooke Jones, commemorating her grandfather and all Anzacs.
The art entry shows a strong commemorative thought process with the poem „In
Flanders fields‟ by Colonel John McCrae etched on the perspex cover and painted
red to represent the blood of the fallen soaked into the ground. Delicate poppies were
made out of clay, some were placed below the perspex representing fallen soldiers
who lay beneath, and those above the perspex representing those that remember the
fallen. The shadows of the poppies and the poem are a reminder of the service and
sacrifice of Australians during wartime.
National judges were impressed with the depth of thought, sophistication of the entry
and creativity of the sculpture which reflected a strong commemorative theme.