Local teacher leads Anzac trip

BOMBALA High School English and History teacher, Caitlin Morrison, has been selected to lead this year’s Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholarship group to Europe, including visits to England, France and Belgium.

Sixteen Year 10 and 11 students from schools across NSW are recipients of the 2014 Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholarship for the two week Europe excursion, and embarked alongside Ms Morrison last week.

The Premier's ANZAC Memorial Scholarship program is for students enrolled in government and non-government schools who have a strong interest in the ANZAC tradition.

The trip is a unique opportunity for the students to learn about Australia’s military involvement in the region, not from textbooks but through first hand experience.

The group will visit the sites of military bases and other significant places where Australian servicemen and women served their country.

In remembrance of fallen Anzacs, the scholars will scatter the ashes of commemorative paper stars inscribed with the names of Australian casualties of war, originally cast in tribute by visitors to the ANZAC Memorial.

By seeing the places where Australian servicemen lived and fought, and by forging connections with local communities, this unparalleled real-life learning experience will undoubtedly open their eyes to the realities of war.

Students were selected for their commitment to the study of Australian history, and for their passion and involvement in maintaining the Anzac tradition in their communities.

Before and after their trip, the scholars play a leading role in commemorative activities at schools and memorials as well as submitting an individual project about their experiences.

Member for Monaro, John Barialro said the teachers were also selected for their commitment to the study of Australian history and for their passion and involvement in maintaining the Anzac tradition in their communities.

“I am delighted that a teacher from Bombala has been selected to take part in the trip,” said Mr Barilaro.

“The group will tour sites including the Somme, Bullecourt and Fromelles battlefields and lay a wreath at the Menin Gate, where the names of 54,000 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers are recorded.

“It’s a special opportunity to pay respects to the 46,000 Australians who were tragically killed on the Western Front.”

In the lead up to the Centenary of the First World War (2014-2018) the pilgrimage makes it all the more important for young people to learn about the realities of war and the sacrifices made by Anzac soldiers.

“The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship doesn’t end when students get off the plane,” said Mr Barilaro.

“Exploring family stories from the First World War unites young Australians by unlocking our diverse histories and shared identity. There can be no better way to commemorate our Anzacs than to walk on the battlefields they fought on.

“The scholars are expected to share their experiences with their school and local community on their return home.”

While no Bombala students were selected for the Europe visit, an announcement is expected soon for the participants to the South East Asia visit in May next year.

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