The Minister for Veterans Affairs’, Victor Dominello today announced the 25 secondary schools that will have the opportunity to send four students and one teacher to the Anzac Day Dawn Service Commemorations at Gallipoli in April 2015.
Mr Dominello said the schools were drawn by NSW Centenary of Anzac Ambassador Olwyn Green OAM in a ballot held this morning at Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney.
The NSW Government is investing $1 million to enable 100 students and 28 supervising teachers to take up the 128 places allocated to NSW by the Australian Government.
“Representatives from the 25 schools will have the unique opportunity to be part of the commemorative ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli,” Mr Dominello said.
“They will be joining students from across Australia, descendants of those who served at Gallipoli, Australian First World War widows and thousands of other Australians who were successful in the national ballot.
“This trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for school students from across NSW to learn more about the importance of the sacrifices made by our Anzacs at Gallipoli and to be part of the commemorative ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the Anzacs landing at Gallipoli”.
Mr Dominello said there had been strong interest from secondary schools across NSW in the ballot, with 420 Expressions of Interest received.
Based on the proportions of 2013 school enrolments 11 metropolitan government schools, four non-metropolitan government schools, eight metropolitan non-government schools and two non-metropolitan non-government schools were selected via an independent ballot.
The 25 schools drawn in the ballot will now undertake a local selection process. Students who will be enrolled in years 10 to 12 in 2015 will be invited to submit a written or visual piece of work on a theme or topic related to the Centenary of Anzac.
“Shortlisted students will then present their work to a panel of school and community representatives and will be assessed on their suitability to represent NSW on the tour.”
“The panel of five will be chaired by the school principal who will invite a local RSL Sub-Branch representative, the local State MP and an appropriate member of the community to participate in the selection process”.
Mr Dominello said the schools will now have until 27 October 2014 to select their representatives. Successful students and supervising teachers will be announced in December this year.