Veterans meet the kids

George Blenkhorn with VCAL student Michelle. 174097_01 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Brendan Rees

Australia’s war veterans have been honoured during a presentation at Alkira Secondary College.
Year 12 VCAL students embraced the Anzac spirit when they presented films, podcasts and biographies to veterans of the Vietnam Veterans Association Education Team and members of Royal Association of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on 19 October.
VCAL student Michelle Carr said the veterans were “extremely impressed” by the students’ own films and podcasts, titled ‘What I Wish I Knew’ and biographies titled ‘I Was Only 19.’
“I am so proud and honoured that I have been given the chance to work with such an amazing group of inspirational people. This experience is something I will never forget,” Michelle said.
She said presentations covered topics including parenting, racial discrimination, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, road safety, the military, disability and addiction.
“We wanted to learn more about these issues, not only on a factual basis but also on a deeper and more personal level; and we did this when we listened to the veterans recount their experiences.”
Michelle said the veterans “loved listening to what the students had written about them in the biographies.”
Her class also “couldn’t stop chatting” with one another about the knowledge they had gained after listening to the stories of veterans.
She said her fellow VCAL students were highly thankful for the presentation opportunity.
“Not only did the students find this whole experience to be extremely inspirational, but the teachers did as well,” said Michelle.
War veteran Darren Thomas thanked the students for the presentation.
“We have people lining up to be a part of your school’s education program. As a serving veteran, I am over the moon with what you all have been doing to support us, especially the Vietnam veterans,” he said.

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