Ballarat Grammar students awarded five of 42 state-wide Spirit of Anzac prizes

ANZAC: Spirit of ANZAC award winners Noah Esmonde, Jacinda Luttrell, Una Nawai, Jeremy Aked and Adam Van Donk inspect historic archives.
ANZAC: Spirit of ANZAC award winners Noah Esmonde, Jacinda Luttrell, Una Nawai, Jeremy Aked and Adam Van Donk inspect historic archives.

Ballarat Grammar students have demonstrated that the spirit of the Anzacs is alive and has a place in modern Australia.

Students Noah Esmonde, Jacinda Luttrell, Una Nawai, Jeremy Aked and Adam Van Donk were last week awarded the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize for research projects they completed during their year nine studies.

Jacinda and Noah will travel to Darwin and Singapore during first term holidays for a study tour of war history sites, while classmates Jeremy, Una and Adam will visit Canberra with a group of other winners during the term two holidays.

As part of Ballarat Grammar’s year nine program, each student responded to a prompt based on Australia’s military history, researched extensively and produced an original interpretation of their topic – with the final presentation ranging from essays to poems, videos, music compositions, art works and more, even a recreated uniform covered in photos.

​ Among the topics was what the Anzac spirit means today in a multicultural and diverse society.

“We teach WWI as part of the year nine curriculum. We take them to the library, teach them clear research skills, sourcing primary and secondary evidence, and that interviews with people are a good asset, then they collect and collate research to produce a final piece,” said teacher Hannah Wise.

Each student had to put forward a proposal which they worked through with a teacher before starting the project.

“We want them to see there is application of history outside in the real world and that it’s not just about school, but it relates to society today,” Ms Wise said.

“The main motivation for us in doing this is real-world application of these skills that they can use in the workplace and transfer to other subjects, and it’s a way of celebrating Australia’s past instead of just saying ‘this happened’.”

Seven Ballarat Grammar students were selected to showcase their work and attend a group interview, with five going on to be awarded the prize at a ceremony at Parliament House in Melbourne last week.