Year 11 Girton Grammar School student, Bailey Edwards, has been selected to take part in the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize study tour to take place in March, when he will join 21 other students from schools all over Victoria and visit Gallipoli and the Western Front.
Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Mr Matthew Maruff, said that Bailey’s submission to this prize was incredibly creative and that he showed great resourcefulness and insight in researching the given topic.
“Bailey has family history rich with WW1 involvement and also took the time to speak with an RSL President, a Vietnam War Veteran and an RSL Member who served for many years.
“This study tour will be the trip of a lifetime for Bailey and we are thrilled that someone so passionate about his family history will have this wonderful opportunity to connect with his ancestors past,” Mr Maruff said.
Bailey spent all of the June/July school holidays last year researching and building his submission for the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize.
“My submission was an art piece. I made a sculpture of the Lone Pine. It is made of wood, with tin panels and pictures of WW1 events attached to it,” Bailey said.
“As the last tree standing after the war, the Lone Pine symbolises mateship, courage and compassion. I feel that this tree represents the fact that Australia, too, endured despite the atrocities suffered during the First World War,” he said.
Bailey said that his motivation for his sculpture came from having so many family members who have fought in wars for Australia.
“I have several family members who have fought for Australia including in Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.
“My Great Uncle who is President of the Greensbourgh RSL attended the study tour last year.
“My great Grand Grandfather and all four of his brothers were gunners in WW2. Because the whole family fought, my great, great Grandmother received a letter from the Queen thanking her for supporting the Empires war efforts,” he said.