Emmaus wins national ANZAC award

Emmaus Catholic College students
Emmaus Catholic College students

An ANZAC documentary made by Emmaus Catholic College students has won the NSW’s runner-up prize in an Australian Government competition.

The documentary showed the students constructing a commemorative board that was displayed at the St Mary's RSL dawn service, captured the Year 9 students assisting at the school's ANZAC Day service, and included interviews with staff, students and a Vietnam War veteran. 

The Anzac Day Schools' Awards are hosted by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and are designed to encourage initiative and creativity in the way schools commemorate Anzac Day, with an emphasis on innovation balanced with tradition.

Emmaus teacher and project coordinator Sheree McQueen said the students used Siegfried Sassoon’s poem ‘I Died in Hell’ as inspiration for their board and used quotes to direct their research about the experiences, terrain and warfare at the Battle of Passchendaele. 

“The students built the entire board by cutting the wood, sanding, building a frame and using a laser cutter. The final product used a combination of historical research and symbols to show their respect towards the ANZACs,” she said.

After the commemorative board was completed, teachers and students from Emmaus attended the St Mary's RSL dawn service at 5:00 am on the 25th of April 2017. 

“While at this service, our school along with our local community, showed respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Sheree said. 

“This respect was shown by the laying of wreaths, the last post and the one minute of silence. Once the service had concluded, people from the public viewed the boards created by students in our local area.”
School resumed on the following day and Emmaus held its own ANZAC ceremony. The students who created the commemorative board and attended the dawn service spoke about the experiences of the troops in their battles to protect their country. 

The students spoke about commemorating the ANZAC’s, prayed the ‘Our Father’ for the fallen soldiers, recited the Ode, poems and stories to the school assembly. 

A teacher played the ‘Last Post’, which was followed by a minute of silence in order to remember those who fought for our country with pride and remember those who lost their lives while fighting.
These experiences inspired the students from Year 9 to interview the staff and students of Emmaus to discover how they commemorate the ANZACs and what the ANZAC spirit meant to them. 

“By interviewing staff and students at our school the students gathered a deeper understanding of the courage these soldiers showed and how they have affected our life today,” Sharee said. 

“For many of the students the word ‘ANZAC’ is powerful and personal to them as they have their own members of their family who have represented our country with bravery and honour.” 
Posted By CathEd Parra at 13/10/2017 9:36:15 AM

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