They walked where soldiers fought
Thursday 28 April, 2016
Vietnam and Cambodia were the real life classrooms for 31 students from Year 10 and Year 11 over the mid-term break, during a 16-day educational tour designed to promote a social, historical and cultural understanding of the two countries.
The girls attended a memorial service at the Long Tan Cross in the Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, the site of one of the deadliest confrontations for Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Rachel Balcomb placed a wreath from Pymble Ladies’ College on the memorial site and Caitlin Scott read The Ode of Remembrance. Each student and staff placed a red rose at the base of the Cross in memory of the 18 soldiers killed in the battle on the 18th August 1966.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of the Battle at Long Tan,” said Mrs Narelle Moylan, Year 12 Student Coordinator, who has organised the tour seven times.
“The girls walked where our soldiers fought”.
“From an historical point of view, the girls also learnt that at that time in Australia young men were conscripted to join the Armed Forces; they didn’t choose to fight in a war.”
“This is an important part of our heritage that all young Australians need to recognise and acknowledge”
The tour also entailed a social justice component where the students performed community service with Build Your Future Today, an organization dedicated to providing Cambodian people with the intellectual and economic tools to be self-sufficient. The girls visited remote villages and schools, participating in a variety of activities contributing to the education and wellbeing of young Cambodians. They also distributed clothing donations from the Pymble community and raised funds to assist in the continuation of these projects.
Narelle Moylan, Year 12 Student Coordinator