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Highschool students given opportunity to visit historic ANZAC battlefields

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For Chris Smith, broadcasting from the battlefields of Villers-Bretonneux was beyond a privilege.

It was a time to reflect on the huge sacrifice our soldiers made a century ago.

Learning about the ANZACs at school is one thing, Chris says, but standing there on the battlefields is a whole different story.

Now, the state government and Clubs NSW have united to give six high school students the opportunity to travel abroad and visit sites of significance to our ANZACs.

Students interested in participating in the Premier’s ANZAC Ambassadors Program will have some holiday homework.

They need to submit a 1,000-word essay explaining why the ANZAC Centenary is important to modern Australia.

St George Girls High School student Eloise Cooper was one of last year’s ambassadors, telling Chris a first-hand experience is very different to reading facts in a textbook.

“It’s very important for the youth of Australia to understand the sacrifices our Australian soldiers have made. Our entire country is founded on our past.”

NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott says the program began in 2014 and students have visited a variety of important historic locations, including Gallipoli.

This year, the six successful applicants will visit Somme in France, to honour Australia’s involvement in the Battle of Hamel.

“We’ll be finishing in London so they can really feel how London, as a city, was the custodian and the home of all those Australians before they were repatriated back to Australia.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview 

Applications close at 5 pm on July 31 and can be sent here.