On 25 April 2022, Her Excellency Mrs Gillian Bird, Australian Ambassador to France, presented the 33rd Sadlier Stokes Prize on Anzac Day. This prize, intended for primary and middle and high schools in France, rewards educational projects related to Australian soldiers in the Great War.
This year, the jury composed of members of the Sir John Monash Centre and the Australian Embassy in France rewarded the projects from the Ensemble Scolaire Saint Paul Notre Dame de Beauvais, the Collège Louis Pasteur de Morée and the Lycée Thomas Hélye de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.
The Ensemble Scolaire Saint Paul Notre Dame produced a booklet on Australian animals during the war, the jury enjoyed the collaborative approach taken by the teachers and the students which enabled the achievement of many educational objectives and involved all the students in the production of “Anzac Animals”.
Very proud to have had my picture taken on stage with the award by the Australian soldier and to have been able to take home an Australian flag.
Collège Louis Pasteur’s “Dear Vera” project was inspired by an article in the Australian media that told the true story of Vera’s grandson discovering wartime correspondence with a friend who had served on the Western Front. The students worked creatively, integrating history, geography, and literature to deliver an impressive video presentation. The highlight of this project was the students’ exploration of the concept of youth in war.
It made me realise how grateful we must be towards Australian and other soldiers who fought for our country. I am happy that this kind of ceremonies exist, it is important to remember and to celebrate their sacrifices.
The video production “D’Hélye news” by the students of the Lycée Thomas Hélye creatively demonstrated the foundation of the links between France and Australia, which have been anchored since the Great War. The students interwove interviews with current veterans and descendants of soldiers who served in the First World War to create a particularly high-quality project.
The project has brought us very close together
The Anzac Day ceremony was early but amazing!
Each school was awarded a prize of €1,500 and each student received a gift bag from the Australian Ambassador to France, Mrs Gillian Bird at the prize-giving ceremony in the Victoria Hall in Villers-Bretonneux. The schools also used this opportunity to participate in the Anzac Day ceremonies in Fouilloy and Villers-Bretonneux as well as visit the Sir John Monash Centre.