Local student takes out national writing competition
September 14, 2016
Coonabarabran High School Year 10 student, Annabelle Park has a won the prestigious Honouring Australian Vietnam Veterans Competition, held to commemorate Australia’s Vietnam War veterans on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Open to all students from Years 9 to 11, the competition was conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and encouraged students to reflect on Australians who served in Vietnam and submit an entry that spoke about the importance of remembering and honouring their sacrifice.
Annabelle’s teacher, James Moffat, said Year 10 students were given the opportunity to prepare an entry for the competition as part of their unit of study on the Vietnam War.
“Many excellent and worthy submissions were crafted by our students, however, the terms of the competition only allowed for one submission per school and Annabelle’s essay was selected by the history staff as our school’s entry,” Mr Moffat said.
“Annabelle’s essay was then selected above all others from the Parkes electorate due to the quality of her historical synthesis and the overall quality of her response.”
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said Annabelle Park was a worthy winner of the competition.
“This year, as Australia honours the men and women who served in Vietnam, it is essential that future generations learn about this important chapter in our history and respect the service and sacrifice of those who defend our country,” Mr Coulton said.
“The judges were impressed with Annabelle’s essay, which focussed on the 9th Royal Australian Regiment and the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps,” Mr Coulton said.
Annabelle was among the competition winners who participated in a commemorative program of events from 17-19 August, in Canberra, including the national service on 18 August for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, where she received a plaque and certificate from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan.
“Annabelle’s achievement is reflective of not only her individual commitment to her studies, but of the conscientious and positive attitude of the entire Year 10 cohort in their study of the Vietnam War and Australia’s role within the conflict,” Mr Moffat said.
Annabelle Park receiving her award from the secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Mr Simon Lewis.