Spirit of ANZAC Award

Yzabella Ampogan with her winning entry, Australian Soldier, and library book to the left.

A poignant painting by Yzabella Ampogan, called Australian Soldier, was awarded by the Broken Hill Gallipoli Memorial Foundation.

Yzabella captured the spirit of ANZAC in a juxtaposed silhouette of a World War One Australian soldier with a bowed head in a field bursting with a blaze of poppies.

“I just thought that it was a really great way to represent ANZAC Day and a really beautiful presentation to show the soldier,” said Yzabella.

“And the poppies represent all the lives lost.”

At Sacred Heart Parish Primary School’s assembly on Thursday, the Foundation’s Chairperson, Merry Pedergnana, presented the year six student with a bronze statuette of a soldier with head bowed, a certificate and a book about the ANZACS for her school’s library.

The award was open to primary school students from years three to six and high school students from years seven to ten.

The Broken Hill Gallipoli Memorial Foundation was formed in 1990, 75 years after the Gallipoli landing in 1915.

It has provided annual opportunities for locals to travel away for training so that they can bring those skills back to Broken Hill.

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Previous opportunities have included conferences in medicine and rural mental health and the Broken Hill Civic Orchestra benefitted from a conducting workshop.

The school Spirit of ANZAC Award is the beginning of the Foundation’s focus on local children and youth.

“We couldn’t do anything for two years because of COVID, then we decided to do something different through the schools,” said Mrs Pedergnana.

The Foundation’s Vice-chairperson, Les McQuillan, believes it is timely because he has observed growing participation by young people at ANZAC Day services.

“It used to be that young people didn’t know much about ANZAC Day,” he said.

“About four or five years ago, I noticed young people began getting involved in ANZAC Day.

“Schools would attend and the students would wear medals.”

ANZAC Day commemorates the sacrifice of Australians in all wars.

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The Gallipoli landing and ‘the Great War’ caused a rift in the nation’s psyche.

In 1915, Australia had a recorded population of 4.9 million and almost 40 per cent of the entire male population aged between 18 and 44 enlisted.

More than 60,000 Australians lost their lives in World War One.

The Broken Hill Gallipoli Memorial Foundation will run the Spirit of ANZAC Award again next year and will continue to encourage local young people.

“The Foundation will have upcoming scholarships for graduating high school students to be used for university study,” said Mrs Pedergnana.

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