“IT’S one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my 20 years of educating.”
Canobolas Rural Technology High School principal Chad Bliss could barely contain his excitement after learning the school had been chosen in a ballot to send four students and one teacher to the historic Anzac Day dawn service at Gallipoli in 2015.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the service on the 100th anniversary of the landing of allied soldiers at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915.
Because of the significance of the anniversary and popularity of the event, the Turkish government allocated a limited number of places for Australians to attend the service.
The capacity of the site is only 10,500 people and about 42,000 people applied.
Those places were determined by a public ballot and in a separate ballot, 420 schools applied to be granted 25 places kept aside for school students and teachers.
Canobolas High was one of the those schools and Mr Bliss said he could not wait to announce the fortunate students.
“It really is the most moving and memorable opportunity that our students will have to participate in,” he said.
The trip is funded by the NSW government, which Mr Bliss said meant no student would be precluded because of cost.
Students will be chosen by a panel consisting of member for Orange Andrew Gee, a community member, a member of the Orange RSL sub-branch, a schoolteacher and Mr Bliss.
The interest shown from students, who found out about the successful ballot on Tuesday morning, had already been “phenomenal”, Mr Bliss said, with several asking for application forms before yesterday afternoon.
Each student will have to complete a project that commemorates the significance of the centenary, then the students will be interviewed and chosen by the panel.
Students must be in years 10,11 or 12 in 2015 and successful applicants will be known by December.
“I really hope [the students] will see the significance of what people before us gave up,” Mr Bliss said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to have Canobolas students act as ambassadors for NSW.”