Defence 2020 National Youth Challenge – Series 2010

The 2010 series of the DEFENCE 2020 – Is the Spirit of ANZAC relevant to the ADF and Australian society today? – concluded with the National Youth Challenge in Canberra on 22nd September 2010. Twenty-six students (national winners of the Participation Task competition) spent two days in Canberra visiting the Australian Federal Police training village, the Australian War Memorial, the National Portrait Gallery, 34 Squadron (to view the Prime Minister’s jet) and the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

At the National Challenge which was held at Old Parliament House, the students showcased their winning entries, role-played a scenario, presented a video of their experiences in Canberra and were addressed by Major General Gregory Melik.

The National Challenge was a fantastic conclusion to an exciting program that educated young people about defence issues and encouraged them to think about what sort of Defence Force they would like Australia to have in the future.

Through their explorations students agreed that the Spirit of ANZAC, born at Gallipoli in 1915, still has a great deal of inspiration to offer us – though there are elements of it that need to be adapted and changed to meet modern times. One such attitude was the contrast between the attitude of the originators of the Spirit to their time in Egypt, compared to the value that modern peacekeepers put on cultural awareness and sensitivity today. However, core values such as courage, mateship and determination still retain their value as civic virtues we can all aspire to today, and which help us create a better society.

We hope that Defence 2020 will be back in 2011 with a new theme, new resources and a national program that will be rolled out in all states and territories between May and July. Watch this space for details, updates, reports and curriculum resources for History, SOSE, English. Legal Studies and Geography.

The team at Ryebuck Media wish to sincerely thank all of the teachers, students and ADF personnel who have supported Defence 2020 in 20010. Special thanks to Group Captain Ken Given who continues to be an enthusiastic and dedicated project manager.