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Competition for students to travel to Gallipoli

31 January 2005
Media Statement

ANZAC competition for students to travel to Gallipoli

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced an essay-writing competition designed to choose up to ten secondary school students to travel to Turkey in April for commemorative events marking the ninetieth anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.

The students will be part of the official New Zealand delegation to Gallipoli. It will include government representatives, veterans of past military engagements, and New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

"The essay competition encourages an interest in and an understanding of this traumatic part of New Zealand's history. The Gallipoli landings had a significant impact on the development of New Zealand as a nation and on New Zealand identity," Helen Clark said.

"April 25th is our day of remembrance when we pause in tribute to all those who have died in war while in service, and all others who have served overseas. It is also the anniversary of the first occasion when the soldiers of New Zealand and Australia fought alongside each other.

"During the eight months of bitter fighting at Gallipoli, there were over 400,000 casualties on both sides, including 130,000 deaths. The death toll included 2,721 New Zealanders and 8,700 Australians. It was a disaster felt in towns and communities across our nations," said Helen Clark.

The essay competition is open to year twelve and thirteen students. To enter, they must write 1000 words on one of six topics, and submit the essay by March 11, 2005.

Veterans Affairs is distributing competition details to all secondary schools, and details can also be accessed online at: www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz

ENDS

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