Anzac Day Schools' Awards

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is proud to host the Anzac Day Schools' Awards.

This is a national competition recognising the work of primary and secondary students, teachers and schools to engage with veterans and honour Australia’s wartime history.

Students can explore, extend and demonstrate their learning, either as individuals, a class, year level or as a whole school. 

The Awards have changed this year, with:

  • A new Australian wartime theme
  • A later entry close time, giving schools longer to prepare and submit entries
  • A different prize structure

Read below for more information on the new Awards.

The current COVID-19 pandemic will require schools to consider alternatives to gatherings or assemblies.  Please follow the health advice of your school regarding suitable activities to protect the health of students and veterans.

A pilot pointing to a propeller to children watching on

A member of the Royal Australian Navy shows school children a midget submarine which had taken part in the attack on Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942. AWM P00455.016

Annual theme

In 2020, the awards theme will be the Second World War.

This aligns with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, which is commemorated on Victory in the Pacific Day on 15 August.

Each year, we will choose a different theme to reflect a significant anniversary or an aspect of Australia’s wartime history.

This year, your entry must focus on World War II and its impact on Australian communities.

Entries close at 5pm AEST Friday 11 September 2020.

Prizes for schools

National and state/territory awards:

National School Award ($5000)

State/Territory School Awards ($3000 each)

Special categories

Award for Veteran Involvement ($2000)

Award for Innovative Commemoration ($2000)

Award for Creative use of Technology ($2000)

Remote Schools Award ($2000)

Specialist Educational Settings Award ($2000)

Previous primary and secondary awards have been combined into one award for each state and territory.

National, State and Territory winning entries

All awards will be selected by a panel of judges.

The winning entries will:

  • focus on the theme of the Second World War and the impact on Australian communities
  • demonstrate strong student engagement across exceptional learning activities
  • actively engage veterans to strengthen student understanding and empathy

Special category winners

Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO Award for Veteran Involvement

Significant and relevant involvement by veterans and/or current serving members of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF).

Award for Innovative Commemoration

Original and creative learning activities which engage students with veterans and/or current serving members of the ADF.

Award for Creative Use of Technology

Use of new technologies in a creative and thoughtful way to engage students in learning about the Second World War (including apps, websites, stop motion, movies).

Remote Schools Award

Awarded to the most outstanding entry amongst Remote and Very Remote Schools across Australia.

Specialist Educational Setting Award

Awarded to the most outstanding entry amongst schools which provide specialist and intensive support in a dedicated educational setting across Australia (for example hospital schools, schools for distance education and schools for students with particular needs).

Certificates of excellence

Awarded to acknowledge entries that meet one or more criteria to a high standard.

Winning entries will be showcased on the Anzac Portal, including photos and a description of their submission.

Ideas for your entry

  • The impact of the Second World War on your local community
  • Wartime experiences for the families of service men and women
  • The role of women in the armed forces during the Second World War
  • The bombing of Darwin
  • The midget submarine raid on Sydney Harbour
  • Australians as prisoners of war
  • How we commemorate the Second World War

Judging criteria

Entries are judged by a panel of judges on these criteria:

  • Commitment to the 2020 theme: the Second World War
  • Student leadership and/or engagement
  • Engagement with veterans and/or current serving members of the ADF
  • Research and historical accuracy
  • Creativity of learning activities
  • Respectful combination of tradition and innovation
  • Evidence of student learning
  • Quality of presentation

Entry requirements

Entries have now closed for this year.

Winning schools will be announced in the near future.

If you have any questions please contact us at


Schools may choose ONE of these formats for their entry:

  • a PowerPoint or similar slidedeck (up to 15 slides; may include an embedded video of no more than 1 minute)
  • written content and images, for example, poetry or creative writing (up to 10 pages, including images), or
  • a video (up to 2 minutes; see checklist for file formats)

You must include with your entry a rationale (up to 500 words) of the activities and learning undertaken by the students in relation to the theme of the Second World War and the judging criteria.

Please ensure your entry is in one of the following formats: gif, jpg, jpeg, png, txt, pdf, doc, docx, mov, mp3, mp4, zip, ppt, pptx) with a file size of no more than 50 MB

Get in touch

If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties when submitting your entry, get in touch with us at

Last updated: 6 October 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Anzac Day Schools' Awards, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 3 December 2020,
Was this page helpful?