Proserpine State High School student Benjamin Ivers has been awarded the 2020 Premier's Anzac Prize and will travel in April next year to important war memorial sites in London and the Western Front battlefields in Belgium and France.
Proserpine State High School student Benjamin Ivers has been awarded the 2020 Premier's Anzac Prize and will travel in April next year to important war memorial sites in London and the Western Front battlefields in Belgium and France. Shannen McDonald

Proserpine student secures prestigious state award

A SELF-PROCLAIMED history buff has been selected as one of only eight students from across the state to experience the Anzac legacy first hand.

Proserpine State High School student Benjamin Ivers was awarded the prestigious 2020 Premier's Anzac Prize earlier this week in a moment of almost disbelief for the 16-year-old.

"I fell off my chair when I found out," Benjamin said.

"It was surreal because I didn't really know what it meant until I was going to sleep that night and thought 'wow, I'm going to be representing my country, visiting all these other countries'.

"I'm going to be experiencing the spirit of the Anzacs and I'm so excited to be able to experience this at this point in my life."

The eight students and two chaperone teachers awarded the prize will embark on a 16-day tour to monumental war sites in London and the Western Front battlefields in France and Belgium in April next year.

The prize also includes a four to five-month research program and a two-day workshop in Brisbane, prior to the tour.

The Year 10 student applied for the award for the first time this year after wanting to apply since last year.

After writing a 100-word application to express interest in the prize, Benjamin produced a multimodal project expressing his views on how the Anzac spirit is relative to contemporary Australia.

"I wanted to draw the link between the endurance showed by the Anzacs and how Australia today shows endurance and mateship."

"I interviewed my cousin who is currently in the Australian Army and used footage from Gallipoli and Cyclone Tracy to draw the connections. I loved seeing it all come to life."

Benjamin's passion for history was ignited when he was a young child and it has continued to develop throughout his secondary education.

"I've always been interested in history, ever since I could read."

"My nan had these big encyclopaedias and it was an A to Z on world history.

"I don't know if I remember any of it but it instilled my love for history."

His favourite subjects at school are in the humanities, spurred by history teacher Glynis Nicolson.

Benjamin's keen interest in history extends beyond the classroom, dedicating hours of his personal time to the subject.

"I've always looked up and studied history, so I have an extensive knowledge of the subject."

"As a kid the Romans were what really got me but as I got older the world wars have come into play and I really got interested in that."

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the program had provided more than 100 Queensland high school students with a "life-changing experience".


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