Schools across NSW have been busy with the glue and crepe paper crafting poppies in the classroom as part of a Remembrance Day education program.
Acting Minister for Veterans, Geoff Lee said the initiative to teach students about the significance of the poppy synchronises perfectly with the RSL NSW campaign Remember to Remember.
“The 11th of November is when commemorations and red poppies are worn to mark the anniversary of the First World War Armistice, which saw fighting end in 1918,” Mr Lee said.
“Thousands of poppies grew on the battlefields of the Western Front, sites that are thousands of kilometers and a lifetime away from students learning this history more than a century later.
“It is the service and sacrifice of 62,000 Australians killed in the First World War that underpins the free society our students now excel in so we’re helping them make this connection through education.”
Schools across the state have been sent print-out poppies and learning resources, allowing students to make their own poppies and learn about their historical significance.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the new school resources fit into the history curriculum for primary students and include a video on the significance of the flower, a poster and a guide to making paper poppies.
“Our schools are proud ambassadors of Australian history,” Ms Mitchell said.
“These resources will help students engage with Remembrance Day as they learn about the symbolism of the poppy and the sacrifice Australians made for this country.”
A special exemption also allows schools and communities to hold Remembrance Day ceremonies outdoors with up to 100 people, conditional to the 4sqm rule and a COVID-Safe plan.
Acting President of RSL NSW Ray James OAM launched the Remember to Remember campaign asking people around the State to pause for a minute’s silence on Remembrance Day to pay their respects to those veterans who served this country.
“As we saw this past ANZAC Day, the pandemic will once again mean a change to how we bring to life the many important traditions around Remembrance Day. We ask that people Remember To Remember and really take a moment to pay their respects,” Mr James said.
“We hope people will embrace the opportunity to go online and make a donation to support the important work we do around veteran welfare, and continue this important tradition in a new way.”
“We also thank the NSW Government for its support in streaming the Martin Place service at the Cenotaph. While there has been an easing of restrictions, for the most part people will still not be able to attend their usual services, and through this streaming option our members and the broader community can still be part of Remembrance Day.”
Remembrance Day on 11 November acknowledges those who suffered or died in all wars and conflicts. Second World War veterans are particularly remembered this year with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.