Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP and NSW veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott has praised the expressed his great pride in the 2016 Premier’s ANZAC Youth Ambassadors after they arrived home from Europe on Friday night.
Mr Elliott, who accompanied six high school students for part of their tour of historically significant sites relating to World War I, said he was particularly proud of the three Hills students who were part of the touring party.
“All six students were wonderful ambassadors for our state and nation, particularly in the company of Governor General His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove,” Mr Elliott said.
“Being able to share ANZAC Day commemorations at Villers Bretonneux with the Governor General, who told the students how important their pilgrimage was and encouraged them to tell their own generation about the sacrifices made by those past, was an experience that can only be fully appreciated by being in attendance.”
Mr Elliott said some of the highlights of the tour included visiting the Palace of Versailles, where former Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes advocated for Australia’s interests at the Treaty negotiations in the shadows of Louis XIV, visiting the Palace of Versailles, and meeting Victoria Cross winner Daniel Kerrigan VC.
“The touring party also had the opportunity to meet musician Tina Arena, who was in France to receive her Order of Australia from the Governor General, so I suspect that life may be a little hard to adjust to when they return to school next week,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Elliott thanked ClubsNSW for their contribution in financing the touring party and said plans are already underway for the 2017 tour.
“Without ClubsNSW this tour would not have been possible, so I cannot thank them enough for their generosity and support, led by CEO Anthony Ball,” Mr Elliott said.
“I also want to thank the judges for the competition, The Hon Natasha MacLaren-Jones MLC, The Hon Nathan Rees and Major General Warren Glenny of Castle Hill RSL.
“I encourage all NSW students to consider entering the essay contest in 2017 and, given that some of this year’s scholars had never travelled abroad before, I am confident that the future of our nation is in good hands.”