Beaufort student follows Anzac soldier's journey

BIANCA Gerrard has returned from the Anzac experience of a lifetime. 

The Beaufort Secondary College student was one of 12 recipients of the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize, selected from 500 applicants, to follow the World War One Anzac trail through France, Belgium, Turkey and Greece earlier this month.

“It was amazing, very emotional,” Bianca said.

“It didn’t hit me until we got to Gallipoli and I saw the landscape the Anzacs saw. 

“We saw the soldiers that were killed who were 15 to 19 years old, not much older than I am.

“We went to Lemnos as well.

“The culture there is really nice and the story of what the Anzacs did there was incredible.” 

The 15-year-old said a highlight of the trip was public speaking. We had to do an ‘adopt a digger’ program, and mine was from Learmonth.

“I paid tribute to him and told his story in front of 2000 people at a service.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.

To apply for the prize, Bianca created a textile wall hanging and wrote a 500-word essay on the Anzac spirit. 

The prize is open to all Victorian year 9 and 10 students for the opportunity to participate in the overseas study tour where students visit Gallipoli, Lemnos and the Western Front. 

Bianca said she hoped to become a lawyer or primary school teacher after high school.

She is building a strong resume, highlighted by Pyrenees Shire Youth of the Year award and her membership of the junior fire brigade and girl guides.