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PM announces Gallipoli essay contest winners

EMBARGOED UNTIL 7.30 PM, 30 MARCH 2000

Prime Minister announces Gallipoli essay contest winners

The big response to the Government's essay competition on Gallipoli showed that awareness among many young people of what happened at Gallipoli was admirably high, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

Helen Clark today announced the five winners in the essay competition, which invited senior students to submit essays on the significance of Gallipoli on the development of New Zealand's national identity.

The winning authors, from schools throughout New Zealand, will travel to Gallipoli with the official Government delegation for ceremonies to mark the 85th anniversary of Anzac Day.

The winners are: Anna Chartres of Christchurch Girls' High School; Tom Hallett-Hook of Mt Roskill Grammar School; Moana Jarman, Whangarei Girls' High School; Anthony McMahon, St Patrick's College (Silverstream); and Loren Theobald, Kaipara College.

"I would like to thank the 300 students who submitted essays. Along with the strong attendance by young people at dawn services every Anzac Day, your efforts help to ensure that the latest generation of New Zealanders will never forget Gallipoli and what it stands for," Helen Clark said.

"In each of the winning essays, arguments for the contribution of Gallipoli to New Zealand's national identity are convincingly put. Anna Chartres, a year-13 student at Christchurch Girls' High School, sums up Gallipoli's relevance nicely:

To recognise our national identity, the unique qualities that characterise us as New Zealanders, is to acknowledge our past.

The five winning essays have been compiled in a commemorative book, to be distributed to all New Zealand secondary schools and RSAs. The booklet is also available, free of charge, from the Office of the Prime Minister.

ENDS

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