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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3244

Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (13:48): The Simpson Prize is one of the most prestigious essay contests awarded to students in this country. Students in years 9 and 10 vie for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with one from each state embarking on a two-week trip to Turkey to retrace the steps of the Anzacs as well as a briefing trip to Canberra for both winners and runners-up. The competition is open to every year 9 and 10 student in Australia. Each year the subject relates to the Anzacs and the significance they play in Australian culture. Students are invited to submit either a written essay or a video response of no longer than 15 minutes. This year the question was: 'Why has the Australian commemoration of Anzac Day increased in popularity in recent years?'

This year the Victorian winner is a constituent of mine, and Higgins could not be prouder. Samuel O'Connor, from St Kevin's College, has done his school, his family and his community proud. It is important to recognise the significance of awards such as these. The character of the Anzacs is what emboldens Australia's way of life. We must never lose sight of the significance and the importance of the Anzac spirit and legend. I would like to congratulate the History Teachers' Association of Australia for instituting this magnificent award. We wish Samuel all the best on his endeavours and look forward to him reporting back on this amazing experience.