Year 11 student Anna Howell was recently announced as the Victorian Winner of the 2020-2021 Simpson Prize. The Simpson Prize is a national competition for students that focuses on the service of Australians in World War I. In her essay, Anna explored the role of the lesser-known heroes of the war, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers, including Alfred Jackson Coombs, a Wergaia man; the important role of stretcher-bearers such as John Charles Goodchild; and the record keepers and archivists who worked in the Central Registry, collating the records from which he has learnt so much about the war.
In an ordinary year, Anna would be travelling to a selection of European battlefields as the recipient of this prestigious award with the winners from each of the other states of Australia. However, due to the pandemic, Anna will spend three days in Canberra in July, attending a presentation ceremony and touring some of the significant sites in the nation’s capital. She will also receive a technology gift pack.