Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beyond Mel Gibson...

The 31 August HTASA Conference presentation called 'Beyond Mel Gibson at Gallipoli!'

 ThePowerPoint of the HTASA 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

* Have students explore the RSL Virtual War Memorial site at 

* Get students to ask family and friends about family members or family friends who served or were involved in World War 1 and/or World War 2.

* Encourage students to visit memorials and honour boards (local area and beyond) and pick a name to research on the Virtual War Memorial? 

* Direct students to the Australian War Memorial website Start by going to ‘Research a person’ at and entering either a name or service number.

 * Encourage students to research in their local library or local history museum for any local history accounts of an individual from their area participating in World War 1 and/or 2. 

* Contact your local Returned & Services League (RSL) ( to discuss the Premier’s ANZAC Spirit School Prize task and ask whether they can help with your the research efforts of your students.  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.

* Have students visit the National Archives of Australia website at for detailed war records of individuals and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at for details on 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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