Uniting Church schools throughout the synod are commemorating Anzac Day with a variety of activities. Students are touring memorial sites in France, taking part in Anzac Day dawn services at Gallipoli and creating poppy installations in preparation for the Anzac Centenary.
The Victorian government selected 80 students for the Spirit of Anzac tour. The students will visit Gallipoli and represent Victoria at the 2015 Anzac Day Centenary Dawn Service.
Four students from Uniting Church schools were chosen.
Alyssa Britnell (Ballarat Clarendon College), Asanga Seneviratne (Haileybury College), Samuel Slykhuis (St Leonard’s College) and Taylor Kelsey-Shueard (The Hamilton and Alexandra College) were chosen to represent Victoria.
Several of the students selected for the tour have Anzac connections.
Miss Kelsey-Shueard’s great-grandfather landed at Gallipoli 100 years ago.
Mr Slykhuis’ grandfather and great-grandfather served in both World Wars. Mr Slykhuis is also a member of the Half Moon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, which will provide one of the crews and boats to recreate the Anzac Cove landing.
More than 630 students applied for the position.
The selection process asked students to demonstrate an understanding of the Anzac spirit.
Miss Britnell had three great-grandfathers and two great-uncles who served in World War I. She wrote an article for the Awards Victoria newsletter on the relevance of Anzac Day today.
“Situations like those the Anzacs encountered emphasise the necessity for Australian citizens to stand up for one another, not in convenience, but in the name of comradeship,” Miss Britnell wrote.
“It is essential to learn from our past whilst focusing on the future.”
You can read Miss Britnell’s full article here.
In addition to her article, she also produced a range of artwork for Anzac Day which captured the theme ‘Solider Returning Home.’
Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston organised a Road to Remembrance project to commemorate the Anzac Centenary.
The school’s Anzac Day service featured an art installation made up of more than 1000 poppies. Year 8 to 12 Textile students knitted the poppies, which doubled the initial target of 500. College staff and volunteers from the Wooltarts community knitting group contributed to the installation.
The poppies will be displayed in the Peace Garden outside the school chapel after the service.
A group of Scotch Oakburn College students will attend the Dawn Service at the Launceston Cenotaph at 6am on Anzac Day. Other students will join in the March of Remembrance starting at Prince’s Square from 9.30am.
Haileybury College held an Anzac Remembrance Service on Tuesday. During World War I, 111 Haileybury students served in the military and 22 were killed in service.
Each name from the honour roll was read out during the ceremony.
Nine Haileybury students toured the Western Front from March 28 to April 8 and visited the Villers-Bretonneux school. A sign saying ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ is displayed on the front of the school.
Kingswood College held an Anzac Assembly on Wednesday. Charles Cook and Vic Allen from the Box Hill RSL attended the service and spoke to students about the significance of Anzac Day for returning soldiers. All students from the junior school placed poppies on crosses in memory of the fallen.
If you are attending the Anzac Day March, be sure to keep an eye out for the Methodist Ladies College Marching Band, who will be playing at the parade. The march will begin from the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Street at approximately 9am on Saturday.