5 April 2024

MP Michael McCormack applauds Riverina students' efforts in ANZAC writing competition

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Member for Riverina Michael McCormack

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack was impressed by the quality of entries in the 14th annual ANZAC Day writing competition. Photo: Supplied.

Thousands of students across the Riverina participated in Member for Riverina Michael McCormack’s 14th annual ANZAC Day writing competition and the winning 16 entries have been published in a 52-page commemorative booklet.

Primary and secondary students from around 40 schools in the region submitted their entries focused on this year’s theme of “Keeping the ANZAC spirit alive in the Riverina and Central West”.

Mr McCormack said students across the region had once again demonstrated through their writing their understanding of the importance of honouring our veterans and serving Defence Force personnel.

Impressed by the quality of the 2024 entries, Mr McCormack acknowledged the students’ efforts and support provided by teachers and parents.

“The writing competition demonstrates how important the ANZAC spirit is to Riverina students,” Mr McCormack said.

“I am impressed to see how the students embraced the theme of keeping the ANZAC spirit alive, whether it be writing a heartwarming piece about a family loved one, or a soldier’s account of the war to local heroes.”

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Mr McCormack said this year’s prize winners had written outstanding and uplifting stories, each deserving of a book prize.

“I would like to thank every student who submitted an entry this year,” he said.

“My gratitude extends also to the teachers and parents who supported the students; without their support, this competition would not be possible.

“It is incredibly important for us all to commemorate and remember our ANZACs and acknowledge the courage, ingenuity, endurance, humour and mateship are just as important today as they were in past years,” he said.

Every student who submitted an entry will receive a participation certificate featuring a watermark of the front cover of this year’s annual ANZAC Day commemorative booklet, produced by Mr McCormack, which will arrive in letterboxes across the electorate in the coming weeks.

Entries were sorted into primary and secondary school categories, with the Riverina electorate divided into north, south, east and west divisions.

The winning and highly commended entries have been published in the booklet, which contains fascinating articles about the extraordinary deeds performed by ordinary Riverina residents who went to war.

The 16 students will also receive a book prize from the Australian War Memorial and authors Deborah Wheeler and Mat McLachlan.

The booklet also contains all the ANZAC Day service times from locations across the Riverina.

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Primary schools book prize – winners

North: Hiya Changela, 10, Year Five, St Laurence’s Parish School, Forbes

South: Seth Willis, 11, Year Six, Yerong Creek Public School

East: Junmahbi Sein, 11, Year Six, Bribbaree Public School

West: Max Reid, 10, Year Six, Temora Public School

Primary schools book prize – highly commended

North: Olivia Cowie, 11, Year Five, Parkes Christian School

South: Rylan Morris, 10, Year Five, Forest Hill Public School

East: Lane Johnson, 9, Year Three, St Patrick’s, Gundagai

West: Henry Tonacia, 11, Year Five, St Brendan’s Primary School, Ganmain

Secondary schools book prize – winners

North: Joselyne Folau, 15, Year 10, Red Bend Catholic College, Forbes

South: John Curtis, 18, Year 12, St Mary Mackillop College, Wagga Wagga

East: Laura Price, 17, Year 11, St Raphael’s Catholic School, Cowra

West: Harvey Drumore, 12, Year Seven, St Anne’s Catholic College, Temora

Secondary schools book prize – highly commended

North: Ebony Sullivan, 15, Year 10, Red Bend Catholic College, Forbes

South: Sydney Whyte, 15, Year 10, Wagga Wagga High School

East: Hailie Onley, 16, Year 11, Cootamundra High School

West: William Butcher, 13, Year Eight, West Wyalong High School

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