It was the moment 32 Western Australian students on the 2015 Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour had travelled so far for and worked so hard towards – standing on the very soil that the ANZACs first landed on 100 years to the day. The freezing temperature during the early morning of ANZAC Day only added to their experiences of what the diggers would have endured. As dawn broke, students joined 12,000 fellow Australians as well as New Zealanders to pay their respects to those who sacrificed everything for their country.
Year 11 Northam Senior High School Follow the Dream student Casey Starcevich student was chosen to attend the Tour which was her second opportunity to travel overseas to commemorate the service of Australia’s veterans. Members of her family have served in both world wars, with her great uncle, Leslie Thomas Starcevich, earning the Victoria Cross for his actions with the 2/43rd Battalion during the Liberation of Borneo in 1945. She is also aware of four family members who served during World War I, with one serving in the 4th Light Horse Regiment and three, all Indigenous, associated with other prominent Australian battalions. She is enthusiastic about her studies in both science and history, where she shows great interest in the world wars and their impact on the world. Casey participates in Follow the Dream and is an elected student councillor. Outside of school, she attends mixed martial arts classes where she learns self-defence and the importance of self-discipline. On leaving school, Casey hopes to pursue a career in forensic science.
The 10-day learning tour of Turkey was spent preparing for ANZAC Day and was followed by a walk up Artillery Road for the commemorative service at Lone Pine. The commemorative services were of extreme significance to the 32 students who had lived and breathed the ANZAC legacy in the lead up to and during the tour.
The Western Australian Education Department has supported the Northam program since 2013.