Thursday, 13 April 2017

ANZAC Education Launch

On the 4th and 5th of April I had the honour of being the Guest Speaker for the Castle Hill and Paramatta RSLs for their ANZAC Education Launch. 

In recent years the Castle Hill RSL Group found that there was no suitable educational resources for primary school children on the subject of the ANZACs to assist in commemorating and educating them on the tradition.  The RSL worked with the Australian War Memorial to create an education kit which they have made available online.  The kit can be downloaded and contains a range of resources and activities to specifically suit primary school children.

If you are interested in seeing the kit you can check it out and download it here


I attended and spoke at both launches, telling the Aussie Heroes story in a brief 6 minutes.... easier said than done let me tell you.

The launch at Castle Hill was attended by several members of the Castle Hill Sub Branch including the president who received an Aussie Hero Quilt from Deni whilst he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2014. 


At each of the launches two ANZAC Ambassadors were chosen to speak. On the Tuesday it was James from Dural Public School and Grace from Oakhill Drive Public School and they did an excellent job.


The ANZAC Ambassadors for the Wednesday were Jesse from Winston Hills Public School and Amelia from Parramatta North Public School 


All the children spoke exceptionally well but I happened to sitting next to Amelia's teacher and was able to ask her to send me a copy of the speech which she was kind enough to do and which her parents have also given permission for me to publish. 



Good morning ladies, gentlemen and fellow students.
My Name is Amelia, I am 12 years old and alongside Brain, Jasmine and Momen,  I am a proud representative of Parramatta North Public School as its school captain.
I was honoured to be asked to speak to you today about the importance of ANZAC day and what it means to me. My memories take me right back to when I was  a little girl as my parents have always shared stories about my relatives, keeping these memories alive.
In my family, every ANZAC day we wake up at the crack of dawn and attend a dawn service right here in Parramatta. I have always been so fascinated and amazed by the soldiers’ courage as well as the stories told by everyone who attended these services. My family, like many, has such a special connection to the memory of the ANZAC. My great great grandfather on my dad’s side, Frank Fitzpatrick was a part of the Navy and served in the First World War, my great Uncle Sid on my mother’s side fought in World War 2 and my pop, Harry Baldwin also served during the Second World War at Papua New Guinea and was a member of this very RSL club.
If I can for a few minutes take you back to the morning of 25th April, 1915, ANZAC  Cove, Gallipoli. Those brave soldiers left the protection of their ships with such hope and strength. Little did they know what horrors were ahead but I believe ANZAC day is not just about Gallipoli, it is about the sacrifice they made, the values they upheld having fought an acted with such dignity, courage, determination and mateship. Furthermore, they demonstrated that no matter what the circumstances, the fantastic Aussie sense of humour and this spirit need to live on in my generation and the generations in the future.
As a school representative, I believe I can help communicate this important message through inspiring others and where possible, demonstrating the wonderful values. I am lucky to be a part of a culturally diverse and rich school community so, isn’t it important to reflect on the spirit of ANZAC and show others what friendship is all about?
How lucky we are to live in Australia. I believe that we all want the same thing – we can have differing opinions but war doesn’t solve anything, friendship and tolerance does. These values are universal and shared people everywhere.
To conclude I will leave you with a quote that is all about hope.

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope”.
.....

The ANZAC Ambassadors like these four children the traditions are in very good hands. 

At each venue Aussie Heroes set up a display table and I was assisted by Drew on Tuesday and Clarissa on Wednesday.. big thanks to both of them for their time and enthusiasm.  

Whilst at Parramatta on the second day one of the teachers came up to me with a group of students and introduced one of them who told me her father had received a quilt whilst deployed on HMAS Darwin in 2014. 

When I was forwarded the copy of the speech by Amelia's teacher she let me know that the brother of a teacher at her school had also received one of our quilts and that it meant such a lot to him.

Quite a number of the students and teachers expressed an interest in doing something to support Aussie Heroes and one of the Principals has already asked me to come and speak to her students about Aussie Heroes. 

After the formalities each day, a morning tea of ANZAC Biscuits was served (of course) and the students had the opportunity to mix and mingle with the veterans who were present. 



It was a pleasure and a privilege to attend both days and just delightful to see so many of the younger generation so interested and enthusiastic.  

Till next time..... keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree  xx

2 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful post. Wonderful speech. Keep up the great work.

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  2. If that's a sample of the next generation we are in good hands. A beautiful speech from Amelia straight from the heart. For sure this young lady will go far in this wonderful land we are lucky enough to call home. Thankyou for posting Jan Maree.

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