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France and the Western Front Soon to Welcome Mildura’s Youth

Latitude Group Travel’s major prize winners, from the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria (HTAV) conference, are about to embark on their History study tour to the Western Front. Dreams really do come true for Irymple Secondary College, Red Cliffs Secondary College and Mildura Senior College students and teachers who may not have been able to experience this without the luck of Irymple Secondary College’s History teacher, Kara Taylor.

All of us here at Latitude Group Travel are so very excited for the school and students,  We can’t wait to follow their blog – every step of the way.

Irymple’s tour includes experiential learning activities that allow them to more closely understand the impact of World War 1 on the soldiers and on the local communities. After researching family connections, they will visit cemeteries where relatives of some of the students now lie. Each student with a relative buried in the area will share the stories of those soldiers and their lives before they joined the army. No doubt a short service will be held at each grave – or at least silent reflection.

The group will undertake a workshop involving making sculptures. While this doesn’t initially sound like it is History related, the sculptures will contribute to a local artist’s project to make one sculpture for every soldier lost in World War 1 in the Western Front.

Among other activities, Irymple’s students will also spend a “Day as a Digger”, exactly following a march taken by an Australian platoon. They will literally walk in the footsteps of each of the men in that march in 1917 and will ultimately learn the fate of the soldier they represent, at the end of that day about 100 years ago.

The Victoria School, named after our Australian state, is one of the locations that the group will visit. It is named so as a result of the many hundreds of Victorian children who raised the money to rebuild the school after the war.

There are so many fascinating activities and sights in the Western Front and this study tour will, no doubt, open eyes and change lives by being so close to many of the actual battles 100 years later.

The article below is courtesy of Sunraysia Daily, 22 Mar 2017 edition and was written by Caitlyn Morgan

Secondary College history teacher Kara Taylor and students Alec Matthews, 16, Tim Dutton-Ashcroft, 15, and Aleisha Schreiber, 15, read up on the places they will be visting on their trip to France.

THIRTY-SIX lucky Sunraysia students are only weeks away from visiting Paris.

The once in a lifetime opportunity occurred when Irymple Secondary College history teacher Kara Taylor won the major prize at the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria National Conference in 2015.

Out of roughly 1000 teachers, Ms Taylor was drawn out of a hat winning $20,000 towards a history trip.

“I was very lucky and the school was very excited,” she said.

“I am still in denial it’s actually happening.”

Ms Taylor decided on France and opened up the opportunity to all Year 10, 11 and 12 students in the district. After a year of planning, students from Irymple Secondary College, Red Cliffs Secondary College and Mildura Senior College will make up the 36 students, alongside five teachers.

“We will be spending 12 days overseas, the first few days in Paris – doing anything and everything there,” she said.

“It is a history-based trip so we will then be spending time at the Western Front before spending the last day at Disneyland, which will be awesome.

“I have never been before so it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Ms Taylor is looking forward to visiting the Western Front, where she will visit her great, great, great uncle’s grave.

“He died two weeks after arriving for World War I, I will be the first of my family to visit his grave,” she said.

“It will be great to experience it all, the education possibilities are so high with the kids spending a day as a solider.

“Some haven’t ever been overseas so that in itself is an amazing opportunity.”

Irymple Secondary College Year 10 student Aleisha Schreiber has previously been overseas, but never to France.

“Because I already had my passport I thought I might as well use it,” she said.

“I have a calendar counting down on my phone every day – I am looking forward to the day as a solider and visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral.”


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