Anzac Spirit School Prize


I appreciate the member for Kavel's particular interest in this matter. I understand the member for Kaurna was at the Nairne RSL on Sunday for the centenary of armistice Remembrance Day service, where I understand there were a number of young people who would have seen the 27 names on the monument and been able to read the description:

Their matching feet are noiseless on the road,

Their unseen strength can help you bear your load.

Giving young people inspiration by quotes such as these at Remembrance Day ceremonies such as the one in Nairne, and others that I am sure all members attended throughout the state, is tremendously important.

The Anzac Spirit School Prize is part of the work that we are doing in the education department to ensure that year nine and year 10 students are engaged with the stories of Australia, our past and our service men and women. Particular good news that I have to share with the house this week is that, during 2018, significant increases in the number of entries were received. I understand that the students who were successful had a very reflective and important time in Vietnam as part of that process. Indeed, I believe eight of them were in attendance on Saturday night at the state dinner to commemorate the centenary of armistice. I am advised that they were very appreciative of that opportunity.

The materials for 2019, the 12th year of the Premier's Anzac Spirit School Prize, were launched on the weekend, and I encourage all members to have a look at the posters. The poster for 2019 profiles the Vickers Vimy bomber plane and the Smith brothers, who were extraordinary aviation pioneers. I think we have seen some media in recent days about the Vickers Vimy potentially not having the pride of place that it should, but I can assure the house that the government, the History Trust and the education department are utterly committed to ensuring that the centenary of that flight is given the recognition that it deserves.

The Anzac Spirit School Prize poster talks particularly about this. The purpose of the Smith brothers and the Vickers Vimy biplane being part of the school prize theme is to encourage students to consider the postwar and interwar years and the impact of war on Australian society. The story of the deeds of the Smith brothers provides an inspirational story for students to learn about those two South Australians who served in World War I and are recognised for remarkable accomplishments after the war. Indeed, I imagine that we will be talking a little bit more about that accomplishment over the next 12 months.

I encourage all South Australians who haven't yet visited that biplane and had a look at it to understand that this is one of the most significant artefacts in museums around the world—and we have it here, right in Adelaide. The Anzac Spirit School Prize will encourage them to do that, but it will also encourage students to look into the stories of not only World War I but also, this year, World War II. I have a connection with those families, and I remember meeting one of the students this year who had engaged with the descendants of World War I veterans and nurses. Those families terrifically appreciated the research that the students had done into their families' pasts.

This is a tremendously important initiative. I thank the member for Kavel for his interest, and I look forward to seeing the work being done by those students in the coming year. I hope there are as many next year as there were this year. Again, I remind the house: this is an important initiative and this government will continue to support it.