Sunday 15 April 2012 by Stuart Baines. 7 comments
Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize 2012

Once again it is time for commemorative activity to ramp up here at the Australian War Memorial but also at commemorative sites across the globe. Every April we stop and reflect on the service and sacrifice made by Australians in times of war. For a very special group of students, who have completed some excellent historical research and analysis, submitted an essay and been rewarded for their academic achievement, they will receive the unique opportunity to experience ANZAC Day 2012 at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. The students have already had a trip to Canberra where they were able to visit the AWM and explore the stories of those who served at the peninsula, looked at the relics now on display here and seen some of the behind the scenes collection not normally on display. Now they have the opportunity to walk the same ground that those first ANZACS walked in 1915.

The purpose of this blog is so that you can take this journey with us. The Memorial guides will post but so will the students and you can follow our experiences in Istanbul and on the peninsula itself. If you followed last years blog you will know there are some records to beat, but you will also know what a meaningful and moving experience this will be for all of us. Each day we hope to introduce you to the students and get there perspective on Turkish culture, food, people, the meaning on the battlefields and the commemorative activities around AVZAC day. All going well we can post some photos and show you highlights of the journey.

When the students return we hope that can bring this experience back with them to their school and to their community. We would like them to inspire those they know and those they will know in the future about this important part of our history. With this experience and the knowledge and understanding that it brings, we can be assured that he relevance of this most significant day will live on in their hearts and minds for years to come.
We fly out tomorrow and 24 hours later we will hit the ground running. Check back with us soon.

Stuart, Heather and the Simpson Prize gang

For more information on how your students can enter this competition go to


Hayley Chamberlain

I can't believe it has been a year since We were off the turkey... this years kids are going to have such an awesome time :P looking forwards to hearing all the adventure they get up to :) congrats to all the winner you should be so proud and excited that you have won such an amazing opportunity!... it is truly life changing :D

Liz Walch

To all this years winners - "Have a wonderful time, enjoy every minute, relax and take on board all the new experiences". I wish the Prize had been on offer when I was at school, I'd have studied History then! Wishing you all a safe trip

Christene Trembath

Congratulations to all the winners. William Ross State High School is wishing you all well and is hoping you all have a fantastic time enjoying this wonderful experience.

Maddy Turnbull

Congratulations to you Maddy and all the other winners, we are so very proud to have a grandchild who has achieved so much in such a short time.We hope that you and all your friends enjoy the rest of the trip and especially the dawn service next Wednesday Love from Nanna and Poppy Bob

Hubert Williams

To Maddy Turnbull: Have a great experience Maddy. This will give you memories that will last through your life. You are very lucky. You will be enabled to remember those young people who were not so lucky in this field of conflict but who were committed to doing their best for what they considered a noble ideal and purpose. Our community of St Francis Xavier's are with you in spirit.

Anne-Marie Kelly

Congratulations to Maddy and all of the other state winners. You have all worked so hard and deserve every minute of this amazing, life changing experience. I will be thinking of you all on Anzac Day. San Clemente is so proud of you Maddy. I can't wait to see your photos and hear your stories. Mrs Kelly

Will Birkett

Hey 2012 Simpsonites. Hope you have an amazing day on the 25th. I'm sure that it will be something that you remember for the rest of your lives! I will certainly never forget the Lone Pine Service, and the moving 'I still call Australia home'. Make the most of this incredible experience, as you are lucky enough to have an opportunity that many others only wish for! Good luck for the big day. Will Birkett (Simpson Prize Victoria 2010) PS. Hi to Stuart. You weren't there on my year, but you gave me the inspiration for my topic on submarine AE2, so I am indebted to you! PPS. Remember to buy lots at the Grand Bazzaar on the way back. You won't regret it.