History Makers school challenge winners announced - Education Matters Magazine
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History Makers school challenge winners announced

Schools from around Australia have shared in $25,000 of prizes awarded by the National Museum of Australia and project sponsor, the Gandel Foundation, as winners of the second History Makers school challenge.

National Museum of Australia acting director Katherine McMahon announced the latest round of History Makers prize winners at a ceremony in the Museum’s Gandel Atrium.

Between April and September 2023, the National Museum invited school students to tell stories about Australia’s defining moments – local, national and global – that have shaped Australia and will continue to shape it into the future.

Schools submitted video entries about the historical and contemporary defining moments that are important to them using a variety of tools such as acting, animation, claymation, historic photos, drawings and even rapping.

Students explored a wide range of defining moments in Australian history including the 1967 Referendum, arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, a tribute to Aboriginal resistance warrior Pemulwuy and the establishment of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Others showcased moments significant for their local communities such as Darwin’s Cyclone Tracy and the 2020 bushfires.

Ms McMahon commended the program for promoting Australian history and initiating important conversations in schools around the nation.

“Australia’s Defining Moments Digital Classroom has taken important moments in our history to students around Australia and has become an essential element of the Museum’s telling of the nation’s stories,” she said.

“The History Makers challenge has made it possible for those students to speak back to the Museum and tell us about the moments that are significant to them.”

Students and teachers attended the History Makers awards in December.

The Museum’s Head of Education, Jared Wilkins, congratulated the students on their inventive and informative videos entered in the competition.

“It is always exciting to see the videos created by the students. These short films combine the use of digital technology and museum theatre techniques to tell these uniquely Australian stories in new ways,” Mr Wilkins said.

“Allowing students to make their own connections with, and expressions of, Australian history is a key aim of the Australia’s Defining Moments Digital Classroom. Not only do the students learn something each year, so do the judging panel as students often choose stories from their local community and share something we didn’t know,” Mr Wilkins said.

Winners and runners-up were awarded in the categories of collaboration, creativity, environment and regional stories. Winning schools received $2,000 and runners up $500.

The winning schools are:

  • Mandama Primary School (VIC)
  • Beverly Hills Girls High School (NSW)
  • Whittaker Homeschool (residing in Mungallala, QLD)
  • East Victoria Park Primary School (WA)
  • Werrington Public School (NSW)
  • St Therese Catholic Primary School, West Wollongong (NSW)
  • Millner Primary School (NT)
  • Galilee Catholic Primary School (NSW)
  • Santa Sabina College – Santa Maria del Monte Primary School (NSW)
  • Santa Sabina College (NSW).

Runners-up are:

  • St Francis School, Lockleys (SA)
  • Newington Primary School (VIC)
  • Khancoban Public School (NSW), a homeschool
  • Galilee Catholic Primary School (NSW)
  • Belair Primary School (SA)
  • Santa Sabina College (NSW)
  • Galilee Catholic Primary School (NSW).

You can watch highlights from the winning and runners-up entries at https://digital-classroom.nma.gov.au/history-makers

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