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Anzac Day – Dawn service

In late Term 1, the Werribee RSL called to ask if students at MacKillop would like to speak at the Dawn Service about the meaning of Anzac Day to young people today. Lucca Mendez and William Ardizzon, two of our College Captains, volunteered to do this on behalf of the College. This is the first time that the RSL has asked students from local Schools to speak at the service. Luca and William spoke exceptionally well and did a great job represent the College on such a significant day.

For those who weren’t able to attend, below is what they said:

The Anzac Legend. Since the 25th of April 1915, the Anzac Spirit has been a core, respected part of Australian culture. For 107 years, their legacy has been known to represent the courage, resourcefulness, camaraderie, endurance, reliability, humour and mateship of those who have fought for Australia and New Zealand over the years.

As young adults of today, Lucca and I believe that these characteristics have been fundamental in building the modern Australian spirit we all know and love. It is a patriotic inspiration that burns inside each and every one of us.

Today, we have been asked to talk about what Anzac Day means to us and to others in our community. I’ve chosen to talk about what I believe the legacy represents, and Lucca has chosen to show its relevance in modern day events.

It was in the atrocious conditions of the warfront that the classic humour, toughness and adaptation of the Anzacs developed, and thus the legend of the Australian Soldier was born.

This legend and legacy stands for helping a mate out, knowing that we will prevail, regardless of difficulty. Even if it meant confronting challenging situations, the Anzacs knew that their comrades would do the same if the situation was reversed.

To overcome insurmountable odds and dire circumstances, it was the Anzacs who made the impossible possible by persevering and pushing past their perceived limits with the help of their mates on the battlefront. Representing trust, integrity and mutual dependence, the Anzac spirit is never letting your mates down and never giving up, even when all seems lost.

Whilst the story of the Anzacs is often built around the diggers on the frontline, the Anzac qualities equally applied to the others who offered their services during times of conflict. The cooks and drivers, stretcher bearers and transport drivers, doctors and nurses, mechanics, coast watchers, transport pilots and communication people.

We can also see how the values displayed by the ANZACs have persisted into the modern era and can be witnessed both here in Australia as well as other various parts of the world. I am sure we have all been made aware of the recent and frightening conflict between Ukraine with invading Russian forces, which has resulted in much loss and destruction.

However, despite being confronted with an unassailable force, they have not lost hope and have devoted themselves to defend the place they call home. Similarly, to the ANZACS who were overwhelmed at Gallipoli, they continued to fight, acknowledging the abilities of their comrades, expressing unwavering mateship. The courage and endurance of the ANZACS can also be witnessed amongst the people of Ukraine, who refuse to succumb to any fragment of fear.

Th ANZAC’s influence is not exclusive to Ukraine and is prevalent amongst the Australian people who have been harrowed by the horrific floods in Queensland and NSW. Yet even when faced with unprecedented levels of water and streets inundated, Australians have refused to lose their strength and have united as one to provide aid for anyone in need, reflecting the egalitarian practices present in the army troops. They have not let this disaster crush their Australian spirit, displaying both resourcefulness and bravery akin to the ANZACs.

As we can see not only did the ANZACs fight to defend our country they are also an inspiration to countless people around the world. They have shown that despite the brutality and gruesomeness of warfare we are able to persist and develop positive qualities including courage, reliability, endurance, camaraderie and resourcefulness. These are the characteristics that represent what the spirit of ANZAC day means to us and we hope that they continue to persist amongst countless generations.

Thank you for your time.