St Catherine’s School held their Remembrance Assembly a few weeks ago and were fortunate enough to have guest speakers Mr Michael Fogarty, President of the Toorak RSL Sub-branch, and Mr Jack Bell, a Second World War veteran speak to the Senior School and present the School with the Australian Government Anzac Day School Award Secondary State Winners Prize.

On 12 October, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs the Honourable Dan Tehan MP announced St Catherine’s School as State Winners of the 2017 Australian Government Anzac Day Secondary Schools’ Award. The national awards are organised by the Department of Veterans Affairs to encourage initiative and creativity in the way schools commemorate Anzac Day.

To celebrate this achievement, Mr Fogarty and Mr Bell attended St Catherine’s Remembrance Day Assembly where they presented the Award and conducted an interview on stage. The Senior School was captivated to hear of Jack’s service during the Second World War as part of the Royal Australia Air Force in the Middle East. Sharing his stories of bravery after his plane was shot down and he became a Prisoner of War, Jack also highlighted the importance of mateship upon returning to Australia. St Catherine’s School was privileged to hear such an account first hand and sincerely appreciated both men attending.

Michael and Jack were most impressed by the St Catherine’s submission for the Anzac Day School Award which involved Year 10 History students undertaking the process of digital storytelling. Students created a short-film presentation about Australia’s involvement in the Second World War, which was then displayed in augmented reality. Although they both confessed to not knowing what augmented reality was, they believed it was wonderful to see younger generations embracing the importance of remembrance.

At the culmination of this moving Assembly, the School sang Jack Bell ‘Happy Birthday’ for his upcoming 100th birthday in December. All were touched listening to the history of those who have served our country. Furthermore, all Year 9 History students have visited the Shrine of Remembrance this term as they study the Second World War.

Mrs Katrina Davey, Head of Humanities