Lord Mayor praises youngsters' ANZAC tribute

10 Apr 2018

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has congratulated Hunter schoolkids on a stirring tribute to World War One veterans at the final Combined Schools ANZAC Commemorative Event of the Anzac Centenary today.

Greg and Sylvia Ray’s The Hunter Region in the Great War 1914 – 1918 inspired the Bringing Them Home theme in today's Civic Theatre production attended by more than 1,400 primary and high school students.

The post-traumatic stress suffered by Great War veterans, which long before the condition was recognised meant their battles never ended, was tastefully canvassed in a narrative told by drama students, singers and dancers, who also paid homage to local businessman Samuel Dark's efforts to help establish the Newcastle branch of the RSL.

"I'd like to congratulate the students who organised and presented today's event," Councillor Nelmes said.

"It was yet another stirring reflection on the 2,000 Hunter men killed during the Great War and the 11,000 men and women who enlisted.

"This event is unique in Australia with a long and proud history and it's heartening to now that local kids continue to be informed of the sacrifices made by Novocastrians 100 years ago."

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz, President of the Hamilton-Merewether-Adamstown RSL Sub-Branch Phillip Winney and Jenni Gill from the organising committee of the schools commemorative event.

The annual Newcastle & Hunter Combined Schools Anzac Commemorative Event has for 64 years provided students a greater understanding of ANZAC Day and the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women.

The event, which is highly regarded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the ex-service community, is organised and presented by a sub-committee of year 11 students from Merewether High, Saint Francis Xavier, St Philip’s Christian College Waratah, Newcastle Grammar, Callaghan College, Jesmond and Lambton High School.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society is the major sponsor with support from The City of Newcastle, Catholic Schools Office, Newcastle District Council of RSL Sub-Branches Bentleys Newcastle, Shaw Gidley Insolvency and Reconstruction, Glencore Mount Owen Complex Ravensworth, Osborn Law, The Bloomfield Group, Newcastle District Council of RSL Sub-Branches, Merewether-Hamilton-Adamstown RSL Sub-Branch, Cardiff RSL Sub-Branch , Shortland RSL Sub-Branch and Toronto RSL Sub-Branch.