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Anzac Day Schools' Awards

Anzac Day Schools' Awards

The Anzac Day Schools' Awards are designed to encourage initiative and creativity in the way that schools commemorate Anzac Day, with an emphasis on inventiveness balanced with tradition.

Opening date for 2017: January 2017

Closing date for 2017: Friday 26 May 2017

Note: It is strongly recommended that participants include a veteran in their activities, as the impression that learning first hand from an ex-service person can have on students is profound.

  • Entry details and contact information
  • How are entries judged?
  • Prizes & presentations
  • FAQs

2016 Winners

On Monday 24 October, the winners of the 2016 Anzac Day Schools' Awards were announced.




How to enter

The Anzac Day Schools' Awards are open to all Australian primary and secondary schools. Schools can enter as an individual class or the whole school, with a limit of one entry per school.

Schools with both a primary school campus and a secondary school campus can enter both categories, but the activities must be separate activities undertaken by the primary school and secondary school campuses respectively. If the activity incorporates the whole school, the most appropriate category (i.e. primary or secondary) must be entered.

Schools may combine to submit a single entry if all the schools participated in the same commemorative event and/or learning activities. If this is a winning entry, all participating schools will receive a certificate but the winning plaque and cheque will only be awarded to the school which submitted the entry.

Entries must be coordinated and submitted by a teacher with the principal’s authorisation.

Entries close: Friday 26 May 2017

What qualifies as an entry?

Broadly, any activity undertaken to commemorate Anzac Day may qualify for entry, provided that it:

  • is relevant to the audience and
  • shows due care and competence.

When designing and carrying out your activity, bear in mind the judging guidelines. Note in particular that the observance of tradition is expected and the involvement of veterans in the activities, if possible, is considered valuable. However, remember always that the Anzac Day Schools' Awards are about developing fresh approaches to commemoration and resourcefulness is encouraged.


  1. Activity includes: class work and projects, a memorial service or ceremony, or a creative presentation (e.g. artwork, photos, essay, dramatic performance, scrapbook or website).
  2. Tradition: the handing down from generation to generation of beliefs, legends, customs, practices and symbols.
  3. Veterans: men and women who have served Australia in the defence forces, in war, conflict or peace operations.
  4. Commemoration: the act of remembering and honouring.

See: Judging guidelines

To enter, your school's activity must be supported by:

  • Visual evidence, which may take the form of
  • Photographs
  • Examples of students’ work
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Videos, films, animations on USB (30 mins max)
  • Websites (hardcopy print-out or USB); and
  • a 500 word description of the activities.

How to enter

To enter the Anzac Day Schools' Awards, complete an entry form and provide supporting material.

Complete the 2017 Anzac Day Schools' Awards Entry Form and ensure that the school Principal endorses your entry.

Before sending, check that your entry includes:

  • a completed entry form with full contact details
  • a description of the activities undertaken (up to 500 words)
  • visual evidence of the activities undertaken
  • a list of reference or source materials used
  • all items clearly labelled with the school’s name.

Hints & tips

A few practical suggestions to consider when compiling your entry:

  • Please do not include original memorabilia or photographs or items of sentimental value in your entry.
  • Present entries in a format that can be easily assessed by a judging committee.
  • Clearly mark all materials included in the entry with the school’s name in case they are separated.
  • Include photographs of large items rather than sending originals.
  • Provide edited versions of commemorative ceremonies (30 minutes maximum).
  • Include examples of students’ reflective writing and veteran feedback.
  • Provide hard copy printouts or USB copies of websites in case technical difficulties occur during judging.
  • Include local newspaper articles reporting your activities to the community.
  • List resources used by students for their research on commemoration and Australia’s wartime history.
  • Please do not send breakable or perishable items – photographs of these are sufficient to assess your entry.

Where to send entries

Send your entry to:

State Commemorations Officer
Anzac Day Schools' Awards
Department of Veterans’ Affairs

At your nearest State Office:

New South Wales
GPO Box 9998

GPO Box 9998

Western Australia
GPO Box 9998

GPO Box 9998

GPO Box 9998

GPO Box 9998

South Australia
GPO Box 9998

Northern Territory
GPO Box 9998

All entries will be acknowledged when received.

Contact information

For further information about the Anzac Day Schools’ Awards, contact the Commemorations Officer in your State Office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Phone: 133 254

Judging of Entries in Anzac Day Schools Awards

Entries are judged by panels comprising representatives from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex-service organisations and a primary SOSE/HSIE teacher or a secondary SOSE/History teacher. Initial judging occurs at the State/Territory level. Winning entries and nominations for the special categories are forwarded for national judging.

Judging guidelines

These guidelines reflect the learning skills and experiences that the competition aims to advance and the broader aim of the Department of Veterans' Affairs to promote awareness of Australia's wartime heritage and community involvement in commemorative events and initiatives. Attention to these guidelines may help ensure your students benefit from their participation in the competition and also give your school's entry its best chance.

Entries are judged on a range of considerations:


  • Relevance to the audience (class, whole school and wider community)
  • Accuracy of content
  • Thematic approach
  • Research undertaken
  • Referencing and sourcing
  • Due care and competence.


  • Creativity of activities with observance of traditions
  • Involvement of participants in historical story/narrative
  • Empathy
  • Understanding of the Anzac story
  • Involvement of the school and wider community
  • Involvement of a veteran, a former or current serving member of the ADF, a representative from an ESO or an important community member
  • Connections with wider curriculum/key learning areas
  • Development of new initiatives in ways to commemorate
  • Evidence of student learning or development
  • Reflection of the participants on their learning.

Special Category Judging Criteria

To help your school’s entry be nominated for one of the Special Category awards, consider the following criteria which will be considered by the judging panel.

Best commemorative art:

  • The entry will utilise suitable media (e.g. paint, cardboard, clay, wood, etc);
  • The original artwork may be submitted if created on paper or cardboard and is no bigger than 1 square metre;
  • If the artwork is 3D please submit a series of photos to give judges a sound understanding of its size and intricacy;
  • Each design is accompanied by a brief description of its meaning;
  • Artwork is not framed (but may be laminated for protection);
  • If artwork is inspired by or reflecting upon other recognised works of art, reference to that other artwork is included; and
  • Artist and school information is included on the back of the entry.

Photographs of artworks in progress are encouraged. Only one artwork or art activity per school will be chosen to be nominated for this category.

Please note, the winning entry for this category may be considered for use on the next year’s Awards brochure.

Best Anzac Centenary learning

  • The entry demonstrates student learning about the significance and impact of the First World War.
  • Students engage in relevant and meaningful learning activities which strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the First World War.

Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO Best Veteran and Community Involvement:

  • One of the activities undertaken by students involves interaction with, and learning from, a local or invited veteran; and
  • The school and the wider community are involved together in commemorative activities and assisting with learning activities.

Best use of technology:

  • The entry utilises a multimedia learning application which includes the use of information technology skills (including, for example, Powerpoint, Photoshop, film making, animation)
  • The entry is formatted in a way that is able to be provided on a USB; and
  • The completed work does not exceed 30 minutes.

Best innovative activity:

  • The entry uses innovative and creative ways to demonstrate the learning of students.

Best local history research

  • The entry uses local area veterans’ personal stories to learn about their service and history; and
  • Evidence is provided of primary source research through either local historical or personal sources and using reference materials from the National Archives of Australia or nominal rolls on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.

Please note, schools can utilise local war memorials or war graves for research starting points.

Prizes & Presentations for Anzac Day Schools' Awards

Every school that participates in the Anzac Day Schools' Awards will receive a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of their work and their contribution to the commemoration of Australia's servicemen and women. The teacher(s) coordinating the entry will also be acknowledged with a Certificate of Appreciation.

The winners of the primary and secondary categories in each State and Territory will be awarded $2,000 and a winning plaque and certificates to display in their school. State runners-up in each category will also be award $500 with a certificate to display in their school.

The national winners who are chosen from the eight State and Territory winners in each category will be awarded an additional $1,000 and a plaque and certificates to display in their school.

The winners of each of the six Special Categories will be awarded $1,000 and a plaque and certificate to display in their school.

A number of Highly Commended certificates will also be awarded to deserving entrants.

Special category entries

Due to the high calibre of entries received in past years, the Department has introduced six special award categories. One prize will be awarded for each of the following special categories:

  • Best commemorative art;
  • Best Anzac Centenary learning;
  • Best veteran and community involvement;
  • Best use of technology;
  • Best innovative activity; and
  • Best local history research undertaken.

The State/Territory judges will nominate entries that they believe best fit these categories and forward them to the national judging panel for consideration. See Judging guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anzac Day Schools' Awards

Q: My school has a primary school campus and a secondary school campus. Can my school enter both the primary school and secondary school categories?
A: Yes, your school can enter both categories, but the entries must relate to separate activities undertaken by the primary school and secondary school campuses respectively. If the activity incorporates the whole school, the most appropriate category (ie primary or secondary) should be entered.

Q: My school participated in a commemorative event and/or learning activities with a number of other schools. Can we submit a combined single entry?
A: Yes. Schools may combine to submit a single entry if all the schools participated in the same commemorative event and/or learning activities. If this is a winning entry, all participating schools will receive a certificate but the winning plaque and cheque will only be awarded to the school which submitted the entry.

Q: I cannot arrange/locate a veteran to participate in my school's Anzac Day activity, does this mean my school cannot enter the Awards?
A: Your school is still eligible to enter the Awards. It is not essential to have veteran participation, but students generally benefit from being able to talk directly to veterans. If your school plans to hold a ceremony and a veteran cannot be located, perhaps you could involve another important member of the community such as a local councillor, a police officer, volunteer service person or a member of the Australian Defence Force.

Q: Our school is not holding its Anzac Day activities until after the school holidays, can we still enter the Awards?
A: Yes, your school is eligible to enter the Awards. See: Entering Anzac Day Schools Awards.

Q: Will receipt of our school’s entry be acknowledged?
A: Yes, all entries are acknowledged as received, and all schools that enter receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Q: When will my school be advised of the outcome?
A: The announcement of winners is expected to be made by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in August. After the announcement, a list of winners is placed on this website.

Q: Will our school entry be returned?
A: Yes, at the completion of the competition your entry will be returned. It is important to name and label all components of your entry to ensure they can be returned to you.

Q: Should my school’s entry include original memorabilia, old photographs, or items of sentimental value to my community?
A: No. Please do not include original items of this kind. Photographs of original memorabilia, and copies of old or original photographs should be included instead.

Q: How do we enter a special category?
A: Your entry will be judged at the State/Territory level and the judges can nominate your entry for consideration in one of the special categories by the national judging panel.

Q: When are the certificates sent?
A: Once the announcement of the winning schools is made in August, the certificates of achievement, highly commended and winning certificates are sent out. Winning schools will have the opportunity for a Government representative to present their certificate, plaque and cheque to the school.