|Mudros Senior High School students and teachers at the 2012 Anzac Day Commemorative Service, East Mudros Military Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2012|
Today - Friday 7th February - the Victorian Premier announced the winners of the Victorian Government's annual Anzac Student Prize.
The Prize is awarded to 12 Victorian Secondary School Students who have been selected after taking part in an Anzac history competition and having successfully submitted an essay on Australia's Anzac story. The 2014 Prize winners are:
- Laura Bishop, Westbourne Grammar School;
- Claire Fitzgerald, Clonard College;
- Charlotte Frost, St Brigid's College;
- Bianca Gerrard, Beaufort Secondary College;
- Otis Heffernan-Wooden, Lilydale High School;
- Breanna Janson, Nagle College Bairnsdale;
- Michael Manoussakis, Marymede Catholic College;
- Samuel Penfold, St Kevin’s College Toorak;
- Travis Reid, Fountain Gate Secondary College;
- Stephanie Schwarz, Goulburn Valley Grammar School;
- Sanduni Thomas-Hewage, Pascoe Vale Girls College; and
- Lila Van Breugel, Trafalgar High School.
The Prize includes a major study tour - led by the eminent Australian Anzac historian, Professor Bruce Scates, of Melbourne's Monash University. Professor Scates is a supporter of our Committee and has successfully advocated the inclusion of Lemnos in the annual Tour. The Tour will take them across the major First World War battlefields at Gallipoli and Western France.
The students will be issuing a blog report as they progress on their tour - it will be great to read about there experience and impressions as they walk Lemnos' Anzac trail.
Gallipoli, Western France - and now Lemnos
However for the first time the Tour will include a three day tour of Lemnos and its key Anzac sites. The Tour will visit Lemnos on 6-8 April 2014.
|The Tour participants and their parents receive a briefing on their coming Anzac Tour at Anzac House, Melbourne. Photo Jim Claven|
Jim Claven, Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, has been working closely with the Tour organisers - the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet - to ensure that the students tour is a good one. Today Jim addressed the Tour participants with a new PowerPoint presentation - Lemnos 1915-2014 Walking in the Footsteps of the Anzacs. The presentation explained Lemnos beautiful natural environment, the ancient and modern history of Lemnos and its people, including its liberation in 1912, the arrival of the Anzacs and the nurses, their experience of Lemnos and its people, the moving Anzac graves that remain at East Mudros and Portianou, and the legacy in Australia - Lemnos and Shepparton.
This presentation was well received, with many of our Memorial Badges being sold.
On behalf of the Committee, Jim wished the students best of luck, knowing that they will be welcomed in Lemnos as the Anzacs were in 1915.
The Committee Helps the Students Tour
Some of the aspects of the Tour that we have assisted with are:
- Identifying the key Anzac Trail sites on Lemnos - from Mudros Bay and East Mudros harbour, to Sarpi and Portianou, the Turks Head Peninsula and Myrina. The Tour will obviously include commemorative visits to the two Commonwealth War Cemeteries at East Mudros and Portianou - as well as the Muslim Cemetery on the Turks Head Peninsula;
- The Tour will also include visits to the main Ancient sites on Lemnos - Poliochni, Hephaistia and Kaberion;
- Establishing links with the Lemnos Municipality, who will welcome the Tour participants to the Island;
- Establishing links with Mudros Senior High School and Head Teacher, Mrs. Papapanagiotou, whose students will take part in a commemorative ceremony at East Mudros Cemetery on 7 April 2014 as well as a joint educational forum at Mudros Secondary College;
- Identified Australian soldiers buried on Lemnos and nurses who served there in 1915 from the areas of Victoria where the students reside. This list will be used by the students as part of the "Adopt a Digger" research component of the Tour; and,
- Provided a detailed Presentation for the Study Tour participants at Anzac House (the Victorian RSL HQ) on Friday 7 February.
This is a great development for the Lemnos-Gallipoli link and the work of the Committee. The inclusion of Lemnos in this Tour has already boosted the awareness of Lemnos' role in Gallipoli amongst key Victorian Government stakeholders, educationalists and others. The publicity the Tour will receive - both on Lemnos and in Australia - and hopefully its Lemnos component - will add further weight to our argument for the inclusion of Lemnos in the coming Centenary of Anzac in 2015.
Hopefully this will be the first of many Tour's of Lemnos for the Vicotrian Premier's Anzac Prize winners into the future.
Thanks to Professor Bruce Scates and Patricia Pollard, Premier's Spirit of Anzac Prize Program Manager, for their recommendation to include Lemnos - and thanks to Demetri Boulotis of the Lemnos Municipality and Mudros Senior High School for welcoming these young Australians to Lemnos.
And Congratulations to the Victorian Prize Winners and best wishes for their coming Tour.
Note that the Victorian Premier also announced today that entries were now open for the 2014-15 Prize and all eligible and interested students should check www.veterans.vic.gov.au for details.
To read the Victorian Premier's Media Release announcing the winners click here.
For information on the Spirit of Anzac Prize click here.
To read the blog on the 2013 Spirit of Anzac Tour click here.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee