Premier Announces Winners Of Student Historians Competition

Premier Announces Winners Of Student Historians Competition

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Student Historians Bound For Greece To Honour ANZAC Spirit

Victor P Taffa

Premier Colin Barnett announced today the 10 outstanding students who have been chosen to make an unforgettable journey to significant World War II sites in Greece for the Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour 2011.

The students, accompanied by a tour manager and two supervising teachers, will visit war memorials and other sites in Athens and Western Crete from April 23 to May 4 next year.

“These students have demonstrated a genuine and passionate interest in the ANZAC legend and Australian history.” Premier Barnett said.

“Experiencing the tour is the best way to immerse them in the history of the significant but sometimes overlooked Battle of Greece this is especially pertinent as 2011 is the 70th anniversary of the battle.”


The students were selected from more than 670 up from about 600 the previous year who applied for the tour by writing a 1,000 word essay on the topic of ‘The youth of Western Australia value and honour the service of our veterans’ or ‘Examine the story of the ANZACs in Greece during WWII’.

Short-listed students each attended an interview and made a five-minute speech in front of a panel of representatives from the Western Australian Branch of the Returned and Services League, War Widows’ Guild, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and secondary school history teachers.

The Premier said the students were a diverse group representing Country and Metropolitan, Public and Private Schools.

“Year 9 Student Mehdi Nawa from St. Norbert College in Maddington is a brilliant example of a young Western Australian deeply interested in the history of our country and the impact of the ANZACs.” the Premier said.

“Mehdi first came to WA in 2003 as a refugee from Afghanistan and he could not speak English.”

“Since then he has studied hard, participated in a wide range of school activities, made strong friendships and adapted to the Australian way of life.” Premier Barnett said.

“His essay looked at the sacrifice and courage of the ANZACs who fought in Greece and the wider social and cultural significance of the campaign, which preceded the large-scale migration of Greeks to Australia and their ongoing contribution to our society.”

“It ended on a very personal note acknowledging the ongoing efforts of the Australian soldiers in Afghanistan now.” Premier Barnett said.

Mindarie Senior College Year 11 Student Jake Morrison discussed in his essay the story of the ANZACs in Greece during WWII.

“Jake wrote passionately about the spirit of the ANZACs and the story of his Great Grandfather Dominic Knowles, who fought in the Battle of Crete and survived the horrors of a prisoner of war camp in Austria before returning to live a long and productive life back home in Australia.” Premier Barnett said.


  • Tyran Hanlon, Year 9, Lynwood Senior High School
  • Mehdi Nawa, Year 9, St Norbert College
  • Lauren Preedy, Year 9, Derby District High School
  • John Wallace, Year 9, Newman Senior High School
  • Jade Hansen, Year 10, Canning Vale College
  • Scott Jones, Year 10, Cape Naturaliste College
  • Lachlan Blair, Year 11, Wesley College
  • Jake Morrison, Year 11, Mindarie Senior College
  • Hayley Pring, Year 11, Perth Modern School
  • Sophie Prober, Year 11, Mount Lawley Senior High School.

Teacher Supervisors:

  • Sarah Bolland, Head of Humanities, Kununurra District High School
  • Martin Keen, Acting Head of Department, Society and Environment, Margaret River Senior High School.