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Students to honour fallen heroes

Registrations are now open for the ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition, with year 12 and 13 students competing for the chance to travel to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day 2014.

The annual competition is a partnership between ANZ and the RSA to promote among young people a deeper understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who have served New Zealand in armed conflicts overseas.

Launched in 2010, the competition is a tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC (1892-1983) – the only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and one who worked his entire career at ANZ bank.

Students are invited to prepare speeches of six to eight minutes on ‘New Zealanders at War’, with topics ranging from particular wars or operations, profiles of servicemen or women, or aspects of war commemoration.

“We strive to champion the ANZAC spirit across all generations, and this competition is not only an excellent way to pay tribute and respects to those that fought for New Zealand, but also to encourage young people to live the ANZAC spirit and pass down the values of compassion, commitment, camaraderie and courage,” says David Moger, RNZRSA Chief Executive.

“Young people play a vital role in ensuring the ANZAC spirit and legacy will live on within the next generations of New Zealanders, and we are very proud to be able to support them in doing this.”

ANZ Managing Director, Retail & Business Banking, Fred Ohlsson said it was a privilege for the bank to again be involved in the contest.

"The ANZAC commemorations have a powerful place in New Zealand’s history and identity. ANZ is proud to partner with the RSA through the Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition to promote a greater appreciation for those who’ve given up so much serving for our country."

Last year’s winner was Rachel Boyd of Whangarei Girls’ High School, who impressed the judges with her speech about Victoria Cross winner James Ward.

Registrations close on 26 February. Entrants will compete in regional competitions (7-9 March), with a national final held at the Government House in Wellington on 4 April.

As well as the trip to Gallipoli for the 2014 Anzac Day commemorations, the national winner will also be awarded a $1000 travel fund, a trophy, a laptop computer and digital camera. The eight regional winners will receive $1000 prize money in an ANZ account, $1000 for their school, and a place in the national finals.

ENDS

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