Two Central West schools are celebrating after winning the trip of a lifetime, travelling to Gallipoli for the historic 2015 centenary of ANZAC commemorations.
Eight students and two teachers from the Tullamore Central School and Orange’s Canobolas Rural Technology Highschool were drawn in the national ballot, after a competitive selection process.
From Orange’s Canobolas Rural Technology High there’s Jacinta Percival, Rebecca Steedman, Alissa Meagher and Andrew Gray with teacher Kirsten Hutchinson.
The students can become part of this broader sense of what it means culturally to be supportive of the ANZAC tradition within our society.
Head of History and Geography at Canobolas Rural Technology Highschool, Kirsten Hutchinson Tullamore Central School is being represented by Hannah Walker, Morgan King, Harrison Jones and Kimberley Cashman will be led by Peter Nicols.
The week long tour of Turkey next April will culminate with a dawn service at the Gallipoli beach landings to mark 100 years since World War One.
Head of History and Geography at Canobolas Rural Technology Highschool, Kirsten Hutchinson hopes the trip will better her teaching.
“As a teacher I wanted to be able to do active real world teaching,” she said.
“You need to be involved in something personally to be able to tell the stories and it’s the stories that students will relate to.
“Where I actually get to bring back information that we can use in a very enduring context with our other students so that they can become part of this broader sense of what it means culturally to be supportive of the ANZAC tradition within our society.”
Ms Hutchinson says the group will bring back their experiences to educate the entire community.
She says witnessing the battlegrounds and hearing the tales of war will improve the way students learn about the nation’s history at the school in future.
“I think that by going and having that personal experience and doing things like video blogging with the students, they will be able to put it into context that we can share throughout our school community and the wider community.”
Alissa Meagher is in Year 10 at Canobolas Rural Technology Highschool and is one of the lucky participants whose submission made it through the competitive selection process.
The 16 year old says it will be a life changing experience and is a chance to pay tribute to her relatives that have fought in conflict around the world.
“I did a paper on the topic of ‘Lest we forget’ and I tried to base it around the sacrifice of the ANZAC and what they fought for us today,” she said.
“Only 100 students out of New South Wales are going, it’s just a once in a lifetime opportunity, you just can’t match it.”
Rebecca Steedman, another Year 10 student from Canobolas Rural Technology Highschool, says her family’s personal history inspired her to apply for the trip.
Ms Steedman, aged 15, made a movie paying tribute to war veterans from Orange.
She says it will be an amazing and thrilling experience.
“I don’t have any relatives that actually fought at Gallipoli, but my grandad was in the army and my mum was in the army,” she said.
“I think through them you really learn to appreciate what they did do for us.”
Ms Hutchinson says while it will be an emotional experience for both the teachers and students, it will be equally unforgettable.
“I’m not anticipating to have dry eyes and I doubt very much having spoken to our four students that they are going to be dry eyed either,” she said.
“I think it is an emotional connection that we have with our ANZACS.
“Our students who are attending march on ANZAC day, I’ve marched since I was a little girl in a small country town.”
The NSW Government is investing $1 million to enable 100 high school students from across NSW, to participate in the tour of Turkey.
The member for Orange Andrew Gee says visiting the birthplace of the Anzac legend is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“The students and teachers will join more than 10,000 Australian and New Zealanders at the Dawn Service commemorating the Gallipoli landings in 1915 and will also attend the Australian Service at Lone Pine in the afternoon of 25 April,” he said.
Principal of Canobolas Rural Technology High School, Chad Bliss, says the school’s extremely proud of the chosen students.
“They are true ambassadors for the school and the greater Central West,” he said.