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Bringing 'war remembrance' to primary schools

Students in South Australia and the Northern Territory are experiencing living history in the classroom as part of a new approach to educating young people about Australia’s role in wars and conflicts, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Scott, announced today.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of Remembering Together, a program which sees veterans visit classrooms to share their experiences and provide students with a first-hand account.

The program was developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and South Australian Department of Education, Training and Employment, and piloted in South Australian primary schools, including Unley Primary School, during the past 12 months.

"By talking to the men and women who have served Australia in times of war and conflict, students have the opportunity to build their knowledge beyond the limitations of text books, and discover the personal insights and experiences of the people who lived through these times," Mr Scott said.

"The importance of community also is emphasised, as students are encouraged to meet older Australians and talk to them about their experiences. In so doing, they gain an understanding of another time and place.

"I believe this program will help bring history alive and it is very much my hope that veterans will support it. I would also encourage other educators to look to this as an example of the way we can help school children of all ages achieve a better understanding of Australia’s war heritage.

During his visit to Unley Primary School, the Minister also announced that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs had distributed Remembrance Day 2000 Education Resource Kits to more than 11 000 schools across Australia benefiting some three million students.

The packs contain posters, activity sheets, an Australian War Memorial travelling exhibitions program and fact sheets on Remembrance Day detailing its origin, the significance of the poppy, the two minute’s silence and a resource guide, which will help students understand the service and sacrifice of Australia’s veterans.

See also www.australia.org.nz


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