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20 Defence Issue 1 2015
A Defence Support Queensland business manager
has developed a Centenary of Anzac project for a
local college in his spare time.
Brisbane college has
implemented an education
program developed by Defence
Support Queensland business
manager Henry Lourens.
A former Australian War Memorial
volunteer guide, Henry developed the program
in his own time.
His remembrance program requires students
to research the stories of those whose names
appear on the Australian War Memorial’s Roll
of Honour in Canberra.
It has been adopted by Year 8 students from
Grace Lutheran College in Brisbane who will
be visiting the Australian War Memorial in
“It’s my modest contribution to the
Centenary of Anzac that comes from my days
as a volunteer guide at the Australian War
Memorial, my passion for militar y history and
my admiration for those whose names appear
on the Roll of Honour,” Henry says.
“As a War Memorial guide, I became aware
that many names on the Roll of Honour have
fallen from contemporary memory.
“While a lot of names are still current and
some are famous, for others, their loved ones
have died and there is no-one to remember
them or place a poppy beside their name.”
Henry recalls one experience as a guide that
brought a tear to his eye and helped inspire the
“I led the great grand-daughter of a Boer
War veteran around the Memorial on a private
tour with her family. She had never been
before,” he says.
“I took her to where her great grandfather’s
name was and gave a reading from the minister
who presided over his funeral in South Africa.
“My eyes began to well up.
“After the reading, her son lifted his
nine-year-old daughter onto his shoulders and
she placed a poppy beside his name. It was an
As Henr y guided other tourists around the
Memorial and reflected on that moment he
asked himself, “who will remember the people
and the stories of those whose names are on
the Roll of Honour and where there are no
“I came up with the idea for a remembrance
project and I thought, who better to do the
research than school children to carry on those
stories? ” he says.
Henry approached the principal of
Grace Lutheran College, Ruth Butler, who
introduced him to the social science faculty.
Ruth says she and her colleagues were taken
by Henry’s passion for military history and
enthusiasm for the program and agreed to make
it part of the student’s Canberra excursion.
“I am hoping the program will bring
Australian history and war experience into
reality for the students and they are able to
identify with the people who fought and died in
war,” Ruth says.
Middle School English and Social Sciences
Curriculum Coordinator, Kerri-Anne Nolan,
says the program is part of a three-week course,
which will include the excursion and visit to the
Australian War Memorial.
“The Year 8 students will work in small
groups, assigned a name that appears on the
Roll of Honour and under take the research
about the service and sacrifice of that
individual,” she says.
Kerrie-Anne hopes the students will gain
a greater understanding of historical accuracy
and a realisation that behind each name is a
person and a story.
“I want them to connect with the name so
that it’s not just a name on a wall, but a person
who had a family and experiences much like
their own,” she says.
Ruth says the program will help students
find greater interest in Australian history as
they visit places of significance, such as the
Australian War Memorial, and undertake
research on location.
“Many students struggle with Australian
history,” she says.
“Visiting memorials makes it more
interesting and helps the students connect to
people, places and significant events.”
Henry says he hopes the students will gain
an insight into the meaning of Anzac Day, the
concept of remembrance and the phrase ‘Lest
“I also hope that with their help those behind
the names on the Australian War Memorial
Roll of Honour will have a voice during the
Centenary of Anzac,” he says.
CENTENARY OF ANZAC
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