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From the department

ANZAC spirit burns brightly in schools

07 May 2021

Handmade poppies with faces in the petals.

In regional and rural communities, many of the local public schools were a cornerstone of the commemorations.

At Orange East Public, school captain Claire Anlezark provided a direct link to the original ANZACs as a direct descendant of one of the school’s 100 past students that marched off to join the Great War.

“Of those 100 soldiers, 83 returned – no doubt changed forever by their experiences during their service,” Claire said at the service.

“I stand before you today very proud, as one of those returned soldiers was my Great, Great, Great, Great Uncle - Private Leslie Reginald Anlezark whose name appears on the Honour Roll in our school hall.

“I feel honoured to be standing here in this place a century later, ensuring that we never forget the sacrifice of these men.”

At Carinda Public School in far north NSW, the school hosts the Anzac Day service at the local park and memorial attracting almost all the town’s 150 people.

Likewise, in Bowraville, more than half the Central School’s students marched in uniform for the local ceremony, which was led by school captain Jayminya Duckett.

For the first time the ceremony began with a welcome to country in Gumbaynggirr language, conducted by Bowraville Central student Tiarra Taylor-Flanders.

In the Lithgow region, Rylstone Public School, like many of the small schools in the district, joined the dawn service, with the school captains invited to read the ode, before joining the local Anzac day march.

Kooringal High School students held a moving ceremony at Wagga Wagga War Cemetery placing ceramic poppies they had made on each service person’s grave.

At Lake Macquarie, Year 5 and 6 students at Elermore Vale Public School have been immersed since Term 1 completing project-based learning around the Anzacs and World War 1 by researching the question: “Can you paint a picture of silence”.

The students spent 11 weeks learning about the history of World War One, the battle of Gallipoli, why we have a one-minute silence and understanding the different roles played in the war by animals, women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The students also did fundraising for Legacy to support our veterans and their families.

Student Voices

See how some of our public students responded to ANZAC Day creatively on the Student Voices Hub.