Tuesday 28 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 7 comments
Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize

Simpson Prize students (left to right) Nic, Eleanor, Meg, Madeleine, Erin, Lauren, Varun and Johanna at the 57 Regiment Memorial Simpson Prize students (left to right) Nic, Eleanor, Meg, Madeleine, Erin, Lauren, Varun and Johanna at the 57 Regiment Memorial

It's always interesting and entertaining for me to discover the character of the young Aussies who come on the Simpson Prize trip.  Here's a rough sketch of each one.

Erin from NT is an enthusiastic traveler who is excited by just about anything - driving onto a car ferry, driving off a car ferry, playing cards (and winning) sights (particularly boys), sounds and tastes of Turkey.  And by her own admission, this trip is ‘making her smart'. Meg from VIC has a great hysterical laugh and being a bit clumsy on her feet provides us with some good giggles (including a close inspection of the beach, captured on camera).  She has a habit of talking behind her hand, which makes you think she's having a conspiratorial conversation, but it's really just conveniently placed to stifle the next outburst of laughter.

Varun, ACT, is our ‘wake up Jeff!' candidate who can sleep through anything, but when awake is always a hit with the Turkish girls.  And he really loves to make a connection with the locals.  He learnt two Turkish card games from our bus driver Onder (despite the language difficulties), knows the names of the hotel staff and can count to 10 in Turkish.  While Eleanor, from VIC, is a seasoned traveler, she does suffer from motion sickness.  If you saw her sitting quietly up the front of the bus you would be forgiven for thinking she's a shy girl.  But on solid ground she's an energetic talker, full of stories, observations and good humour.

Nic from WA is the sort of boy that every mother would love their daughter to go out with - polite, thoughtful, funny and of course good looking.  He's got a dry wit and always cracks you up with a sly comment here or there.  Johanna from SA has an infectious excitement for any new experience, which means she's lots of fun to travel with.  However, with a pack cards in her hands, the killer instinct kicks in, and while there may already be a queen of hearts, she's definitely the queen of spoons.

They say you cant read a book by its cover, but in the case of Lauren from NSW that's not true - she's one of those people who clearly shows her feelings.  Excited - she literally bounces up and down, happy - a great big grin and laugh, confused, interested, thoughtful, tired and emotional - it's all there to see.  However, nervous - as she told us she certainly was before the Lone Pine reading - and she looked and sounded cool as a cucumber.  And finally Madeleine, from good old TAS, one of the most grounded and easy going people you're likely to meet.  She may have had a slight delay in joining our group, but once installed she was center-piece of the jigsaw that held everything together. And she's got a mean throwing arm.


Deb Harrison (Teacher-Librarian Darwin High School)

Sounds like Andrew has got you all sussed out. See you soon Erin! Hey Lauren, where were the nerves at Lone Pine? Brilliant job!

Lauren Tang

Hey guys, guess what? I'm back home :). Thanks Ms Harrison the nerves were definitely there but well-hidden! See all the rest of you on facebook LOL. -Lauren

Water Tanks

How do you get your children and students into this? i would love for my son to get into the trip. is there some more information on this site about it? Craig

Erin Moriarty

Hello Craig, I am Erin, the Northern Territory winner for this year. The winning trip to Turkey, and the presentation in Canberra, is an amazing experience, I am sure that your son would find it wonderful and memorable! If you go to http://www.afssse.asn.au/simpson/simpson_current.htm, you should be able to read all of our essays and see the next year's question when it comes out (the question will come out sometime this year). You have to write an essay answering the question and adhere to the given criteria. Cheers and good luck, Erin.


Is it just winners that get to go along as my child pestered me about it.

Joyce Chen

To seo, Yeah, they pick a winner and a runner up from each state and territory-so 2 kids from each state (16 kids in all) get to go to the presentation ceremony in Canberra, but only the winners (8 kids) get to go to Gallipoli. Good luck. Lauren Tang's mum


This is a great program and opportunity for the younger generation to carry on the honour and memory of our fallen soldiers. Its nice to see them taking an interest in history and showing respect where others their age do not. Well done to all that are successful and those that tried. Tony