The Department of Education has announced that eight Queensland high school students have been chosen to travel to Europe to visit World War I battle sites.
The students will attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux.
The young people are recipients of the 2023 Premier’s ANZAC Prize and will travel with two teacher chaperones.
In a statement, the Department said they were selected after demonstrating their passion for, and knowledge of, ANZAC history.
“A total of 128 students have been awarded the prize since it began in 2013, and applications for the 2024 Prize are now open to all Queensland high school students in Years 8-to-11,” the Department said.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said the ANZAC Prize provided an opportunity for young Queenslanders to understand ANZAC history and appreciate why it was such a strong part of Australia’s culture.
“This year’s cohort is particularly special, as it is the first group to travel overseas since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I’m also delighted the students will be accompanied by my Assistant Minister for Veterans, Bart Mellish, a tireless advocate for the RSL and our veterans,” she said.
She said previous recipients had come home with a deep understanding and appreciation of the ANZAC history and spirit “so I’d like to encourage all Queensland high school students to get their entry in for the 2024 Prize”.
Minister for Education, Grace Grace said the sacrifices of Australia’s servicemen and women would become very real to the students as they visited places that included the Menin Gate, Villers-Bretonneux and the fields of Flanders.
“I know they are excited and nervous, but they should be proud of being selected and proud of what they are about to do,” Ms Grace said.