THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
15 March 2011
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today launched a new education resource that will help primary and secondary school students across Australia learn about our wartime history.
Speaking at Stromlo High School in Canberra, Mr Snowdon said that all primary schools in Australia will receive ‘Forever yours: stories of wartime love and friendship’, withsecondary schools also receiving a teachers’ guidebook, ‘We’ll meet again—Australian stories of love in wartime’ later this month.
Mr Snowdon said this year’s resources, produced by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian War Memorial, provided an insight into the personal experience of war from the perspective of the relationships forged, separated, broken or lost in wartime.
“Forever yours features ten captivating stories illustrating the love between a wife and a husband shared over letters and photos, a mother’s love for her son detailed in between the pages of a personal diary, the everlasting bond between brothers after one dies in battle and the love formed between a man and a woman from opposite sides of the world, overcoming the odds to be together.
“We’ll meet again is an accompanying resource specifically aimed at secondary school students which includes learning activities and opportunities for further study using the inquiry method and source documents.
“These resources have perfectly captured the personal stories of love and loss experienced by the family and friends of our servicemen and women distanced by war.
“Stories, letters, photographs, news articles and images of keepsakes are all beautifully laid out in books which are not only eye-catching and modern, but educational. I have no doubt these resources will appeal to students and teachers across the country.
“It’s important to find innovative ways to engage students to learn about Australia’s wartime history.
“We want today’s students to have an understanding of, and an empathy for, the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, and to be grateful that it was their sacrifices that have given us the freedoms that we enjoy today—the ability to be surrounded by our families and friends, go to school, learn and live freely,” he said.
Wartime history is an important part of the Gillard Labor Government’s new National Curriculum, and these resources will support implementation of the Australian Curriculum for History which was endorsed by all education Ministers in December 2010.
The resources can be downloaded from: www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/education/Pages/education%20resources.aspx or additional copies can be purchased online from the Australian War Memorial shop.
Mr Snowdon said Stromlo High School had a special affinity with wartime history because it received the secondary school prize for the ACT’s 2010 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards in 2010.
In the lead-up to Anzac Day, Mr Snowdon encouraged other schools across the country to participate in the 2011 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards, an exciting competition helping primary and secondary school students to learn about the meaning and history of Anzac Day.
“Entries for the Anzac Day Schools’ Awards close on 20 May 2011, so there is still plenty of time for schools around the country to demonstrate their learning and innovation in commemorating Anzac Day this year.
“In preparation for Anzac Day there is also a great range of background information available for schools on the DVA website, including the 2011 Anzac Day posters,” Mr Snowdon said.
For information about the Anzac Day Schools’ Awards visit the DVA website.
The education resources and photos from the event will be available from the DVA media centre at www.dva.gov.au/media
To arrange an interview withStromlo teaching staff and the authors of ‘Forever yours’ please contact DVA Media Team.
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203 or 0413 994 704.