Students to compete for place at Gallipoli

SND09-wk2-Gallipoli 300x224Students compete to attend centenary commemorations at Gallipoli

Registrations have opened for a special 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition. Year 12 and 13 students across New Zealand will compete for the privilege of attending the Anzac Day centenary commemorations at Gallipoli in April 2015.

In previous years only the national winner of the competition has travelled to Gallipoli to represent New Zealand. To mark 100 years since troops landed in Gallipoli next year, Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand will include all eight 2015 regional finalists in a group of Youth Ambassadors attending the remembrances in Gallipoli.

RNZRSA chief executive David Moger says the decision to include all regional finalists was inspired by the consistently high standard of the secondary school entrants and reflects the significance of next year’s centenary event.

“The standard of our regional finals is remarkable and they include some of New Zealand’s most gifted young public speakers. Every year we continue to be impressed by the passion and insight these students bring to the stories of our Anzac heroes.

“We’re proud that all finalists will have the honour of standing on the grounds of Gallipoli 100 years after our Anzac soldiers landed,” he says.

The annual speech competition is a partnership between the RSA and ANZ to promote among young people a deeper understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices of those who have served New Zealand in armed conflicts overseas. Now in its fifth year, the competition is a tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC (1892-1983) – the only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, who worked his entire career at ANZ Group.

Speeches are six to eight minutes and focus on ‘New Zealanders in WWI’, with topics ranging from individual servicemen or women, to specific war events or operations, or aspects of war commemoration.

ANZ general manager human resources NZ, Felicity Evans, says it is a particular privilege for the bank to be involved in the competition in 2015.

“The Anzac legacy depends on New Zealand’s younger generations embracing this important part of our history. It’s through them that future generations will remember and honour those who fought with such courage and selflessness to protect our way of life.”

Each regional winner will receive a trip to Gallipoli, a smartphone, $1000 in an ANZ bank account and a further $1000 cheque for their school, along with a place in the national finals.

In addition to these prizes, the national winner will receive a national trophy, a laptop and will have the honour of delivering their speech at Gallipoli.

• Registrations are via the RSA website and close January 30, 2015.
• The regional competitions will be held from February 13-15.
• The national final is at the Government House in Wellington on 1March 12.
• Full competition details are on the RSA website.

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