Wednesday, February 21, 2018

HaSS SA Presentation: Beyond Mel Gibson...

The 24 February HaSS SA Conference presentation called 
'Beyond Mel Gibson at Gallipoli!'

 The PowerPoint of the HaSS SA workshop presentation.
The workshop explored the potential to teach war and commemoration through historical conceptual thinking using research skills to develop authentic learning in the classroom. Learning about Australia’s involvement in the Great War, World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War should be more than learning about chronology, battles and statistics. The Australian Curriculum: History provides the opportunity to connect students to the stories and events through conceptual thinking. At the same time the use of research skills to ‘find’ stories is a way to personalise the learning for students. During the workshop the Virtual War Memorial and the Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize will be profiled as examples of unique initiatives for students to participate in high quality historical research and to personally engage in learning about war beyond just learning ‘about’ the conflict involved.

Some ideas to get started with researching

* Naturally, visit the RSL Virtual War Memorial site at 
* Ask your family about an older family member or family friend who served or was involved in the conflict.
* Does your school have an Honour Board or Memorial Wall commemorating ex-students? 
* The first step for individuals who died during wartime will probably be to look them up on the Australian War Memorial website where you will find lots of other useful links.  Start by going to ‘Research a person’ at and entering either a name or service number. 
 * Research in your local library or local history museum for any local history accounts of an individual from your area participating in your selected conflict. 
* Visit the War Memorials in your local area to identify the names of locals who participated in your selected conflict. The RSL website links at may help you with this task. 
* Contact your local Returned & Services League (RSL) ( to discuss the Premier’s ANZAC Spirit School Prize task and whether they can help your research.  The RSL is involved in the competition and have communicated details of the competition and study tour to all their branches.  Such personal contact could be invaluable in developing responses. 
* Visit the National Archives of Australia website at for detailed war records of individuals.
* Visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at for details  on overseas war cemeteries and graves.

The Premier's ANZAC Spirit School Prize blog
While you are on this blog (, take some time to read some amazing journal entries from the 2016 students who toured Vietnam and some background information on the Vietnam War provided to the students prior to departing.

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