More than 1000 Year 9 and 10 students from across the State took part in the competition, with Xavier College’s Laura Cassell, Liam Kay from Cardijn College and Lily Farrell from Loreto College to join the 13 winners for the two-week trip to Vietnam.
The Anzac Spirit competition provides the opportunity for young South Australians to examine and research the remarkable sacrifices of South Australian service men and women during the 20th century.
Year 9 student Laura researched her great-great-grandfather corporal David Spry. She collected and organised war records, letters and information about his service at Gallipoli, the Western Front and Egypt during World War I.
Corporal Spry lived near Ceduna and enlisted in the Army as a 22 year old. At the conclusion of the war he returned to his home in Denial Bay and died in 1970 of natural causes.
Liam looked into the life of James Churchill-Smith, a 21 year old from Norwood who fought in World War 1.
“From my research I then described how he showed the Anzac Spirit, specifically, courage and perseverance,” Liam said.
“It was a really eye-opening experience to learn about the hardships someone went through and it really inspired me to follow their legacy and be someone who shows perseverance and courage within society.”
Lily’s entry to the competition was about the life and experiences of Wesley Paul Choat, a South Australian who spent 18 months as a prisoner of war in Germany.
“His story is an incredible one,” she said, explaining that Choat escaped from the POW camp, only to be caught and returned. He later escaped again, managing to walk 50km to safety.
“The research I undertook was an enlightening process, as learning about the life of someone who is not well known, yet who is such a role model in remaining resilient in the face of all odds made me realise how there are everyday inspirations among us.”
The study tour to Vietnam will depart on September 29 and will give the winning students the opportunity to delve deeper into the history, geography and politics of the Vietnam War.
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