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Students remember ANZAC heroes at Commemorative Event

For more than 15 years we've supported a unique education initiative for students to learn about the ANZAC legacy.

Monday, 23 April, 2018.

For more than 60 years the Newcastle and Hunter Combined Schools ANZAC Commemorative Event has provided a unique platform for local Hunter students to learn about the sacrifices made by Australian Service men and women. It has given students the opportunity to present a moving performance based on local ANZAC stories.

For more than 15 years Newcastle Permanent has supported this important education initiative and the opportunities it offers students to learn about the ANZAC legacy.

In 2018 the event was held during the last week of Term 1 at Civic Theatre Newcastle and at Civic Centre in Singleton. Organised by a sub-committee of year 11 students from government, Catholic, and independent schools, participating students researched the incredible stories of local ANZACs and produced a performance for their peers from years 5 to 9.

The theme this year was Bringing them home – the end of the Great War and the coming home.  The students were asked to research local stories from the region’s men who returned from the Great War with permanent injuries – reminders of all they had experienced and physical reflections on how the war had changed them. 

The final production was highly emotive and educational. When chatting with the participating students on the days of the production, a common theme arose: not only had they gained a deeper learning about the ANZACs, but they also gained a greater appreciation for how the Great War shaped modern Australia.

A scene from the Combined Schools ANZAC Commemorative Event
A scene from the Newcastle and Hunter Combined Schools ANZAC Commemorative Event.

"It is important to understand the history of those that served our country and that that has formed where we are today,"

Student Hanna Edwardsmith, from Saint Francis Xavier’s College

Eben Taylor, a Merewether High School student, added that he’d found the experience to be extremely interesting and an unusual way to engage with the local history and our nation. 

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in an extremely engaging historical and cultural outreach program to bring the history of the ANZACs to the next generation," he said.

Supporting the education of local students is important to Newcastle Permanent. Through supporting this event, Newcastle and Hunter students are given the opportunity to learn about the local history in a unique and engaging way. 

At the end of the two performances, we think Bella Gough, student at Callaghan College Jesmond Campus summed up her experience perfectly.

"It was a fantastic experience," she said. "I was really honoured to be part of this event."

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