Seventy Queensland students and 10 chaperones will now be able to witness the historic Anzac Day centenary commemoration at Gallipoli in 2015, almost double the original allocation.
The extra places came out of the Federal Government’s nation-wide allocation of 400 student and chaperone places to states and territories, based on their number of federal electorates.
“These young Queenslanders will be incredibly fortunate to be part of the centenary celebrations – a moving tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by ANZAC soldiers one hundred years ago,” Mr Newman said.
“This special trip will be made possible by $442,000 of funding by the Department of Education, Training and Employment to supplement my original $1 million, three-year election commitment.”
The Premier said the students and chaperones would join widows and direct descendants of Anzac soldiers, the veteran community, official representatives, and 6,000 Australians and 2,000 New Zealanders drawn from a ballot.
“The 2015 Premier’s Anzac Prize will determine who will be part of this unique experience,” he said.
“I encourage Year 8 to 11 students to enter the competition which opens on Anzac Day.”
Students are required to submit an original, two to five minute multimedia presentation addressing how the Anzac tradition shaped Australia, why it is still important and how future generations will keep the tradition alive.
History experts will assist in shortlisting entries and representatives from the Returned and Services League, the Australian Defence Force and an Anzac descendant will select the 70 student winners.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek encouraged students and staff to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“The Premier’s Anzac Prize provides an unforgettable educational experience which helps ensure important lessons of the past are learned and that Queenslanders keep the Anzac spirit alive,” Mr Langbroek said.
“The five 2014 Premier’s Anzac Prize winners are already preparing for their two-week journey to the Western Front and Gallipoli to be part of this year’s celebrations.
“Queenslanders can follow their journey online as well as read reports and see inspiring tour photos and footage from past winners.”
Mr Newman said Queensland would also mark the Anzac centenary with a series of legacy projects, major commemorative events and a grants program for local communities to enhance memorials, stage exhibitions and conduct community education or other activities.
“Anzac Square in Brisbane will be fully refurbished and the State Library of Queensland will run a digital memorial project and five-year program of statewide activities to mark the World War I centenary,” he said.
“We want to ensure the 2015 commemoration will be an important milestone in the proud history of Australia and in our schools.”
For more information on the Premier’s Anzac Prize, including tour reports and footage, visit http://education.qld.gov.au/students/grants/scholarships/anzac/index.html Queensland’s centenary activities are documented on the Anzac Centenary website at: www.qld.gov.au/Anzac100
Details of the ballot open to all Australians, which closes on 31 January 2014, are also available on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gallipoli 2015 website at www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au