Gold Coast group bringing history to life24 May 2019
Want to help teach students about the ANZAC spirit?
A group of veterans and volunteers who run educational programs for local schools are looking for new recruits to join their ranks. The program strives to keep the ANZAC spirit alive and teach young people about respect, loyalty and unity.
The group is made up of members of the Gold Coast Light Horse Education Museum at Mudgeeraba, most of whom are members of an RSL Sub Branch on the Gold Coast.
“We are passionate and patriotic for our wonderful country and are desperately trying to instil into our younger people our objectives,” Vice President Brian Bertwistle AM said.
“We want to teach the future generation that they live in the best country in the world and they must respect and protect it.”
The presentations involve displays, exhibits and artefacts of significance, and each year around 1000 new students from the Gold Coast area complete programs at the museum.
They have also developed a booklet called ANZACs and The Light Horse, which is given to participating students. The program is aligned to the National Australian History
Curriculum Community and Remembrance, and aimed at Years 2, 3, 5 and 6 in primary schools, and Years 9 and 10 in secondary schools.
Interacting with kids keeps you young
“We receive letters of thanks – not only from schools and teachers, but from children themselves. Interacting with the kids keeps us oldies active and young,” Brian said. “We are the only organisation in Australia that completes these live, hands-on programs with horses, weapons, flag raising, and veterans doing the commentary. We are told by educators that this is the best way for children to learn our history and patriotic values.”
With members of the group now in their mid-70s and 80s, Brian fears the program might not run for much longer if it doesn’t get an injection of new blood.
“We need exposure and help, both physically and financially,” Brian said.