Premiers ANZAC Prize 2015

The Anzac Prize team at DET International developed a detailed itinerary which provided a wide range of educational experiences in Turkey, Belgium and France to commemorate ANZAC Day. The highlight of the tour was undoubtedly the opportunity to attend the Gallipoli Dawn Service on Anzac Day for the 100th commemoration.

Year 12 student, Sasha Brady, was selected as one of the seventy winners of the Premier’s Anzac Prize for 2015. To be selected from a large number of students from across the state was a credit to the Academy and students. As part of the tour there were a number of activities which ensured all seventy students truly appreciated the Anzac sprit and the sacrifices of our service people. This included ‘adopting’ service people at Gallipoli, the Western Front or from the other major conflicts and peacekeeping missions.

There were of course many highlights on the tour:

  • Attending the 100th commemorative Dawn Service
  • The commemoration service at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery – a touching service for our Anzac soldiers.
  • The choir performing at the Menin Gate Service
  • Incredibly insightful and moving eulogies from so many of the students
  • Students and chaperones wearing the medals of their relatives with pride.
  • The tour of Istanbul
  • Brussels and Belgium (and chocolate)
  • The tour of Paris
  • Grand Bazaar in Istanbul to the shops in Paris
  • The post tour function which was attended by the Premier, the Education Minister and other dignitaries.This function was held in a marque on Speaker’s Green at Parliament House. This was a great way to end the tour with the presentation of commemorative plaques to the students.
  • The fundraising for Mates4Mates – our total sits at over $21,000 and donations are still coming in.

The following words are directly from Sasha relating to her journey:

Missing three weeks of school in the middle of Grade 12 may not seem like a good idea, but that is exactly what I did the beginning of this term, and I think it is probably the most worthwhile thing I have ever done.

I attended the Premiers ANZAC Prize tour, as part of a group of prize winners from Queensland. Every state sent their own delegate to commemorate the ANZAC Day Centenary. However, Queensland was the only state that commemorated the centenary not just at Gallipoli, but also along the Western Front, through Belgium and France.

I don’t know how to adequately describe the tour. Words really don’t do justice to all the raw emotion and experience. All I can say is that I am so glad I took the chance and applied. I saw so much. I learnt so much. From the grave commemorations and the moving services at the Menin Gate, to the joy of eating waffles on a boat in Belgium. I grew as a person. I feel like I contributed to something really important and special. I came to know amazing people from all over Queensland, and made what I hope will be lifelong friends. I met people, while travelling, from different states in Australia, and different countries in the world. It made me think and see things from different perspectives. It was unique.

In short, the trip is something I will remember for my entire life, and I urge all of my peers to seize opportunities that allow you to follow your passion. Experiences such as mine really compliment the broader aim of being an IB learner.

Sasha Brady, Year 12