Brindavani Sritharan selected for Premier’s Anzac Ambassadors Program

Lest we forget: Brindavani Sritharan has always been interested in the Anzac legacy. "It’s embedded in Australia’s national identity," she said. Picture: Geoff Jones
Lest we forget: Brindavani Sritharan has always been interested in the Anzac legacy. "It’s embedded in Australia’s national identity," she said. Picture: Geoff Jones

Brindavani Sritharan will be the envy of her schoolmates later this month.

While they’re stuck in the classroom, the Macarthur Girls High School student will embark the learning experience of a lifetime, touring World War I battlefields in Greece and Israel. She was one of six students from across NSW selected for the Premier’s Anzac Ambassadors Program.

Sponsored by ClubsNSW, the two-week tour includes Athens, Lemnos, Crete, Jerusalem and Beersheba. 

Entrants submitted a 1000 word essay on why the Centenary of Anzac is important for modern Australia.

“I was incredibly surprised to be chosen,” Brindavani said. “It’s a great honour. Not many students get this opportunity, so it’s going to be a memorable experience.”

Not many students get this opportunity, so it’s going to be a memorable experience.

Brindavani Sritharan

With a passion for modern history, she looks forward to getting a better understanding of what Australian soldiers faced by tracing their footsteps.

“I’ve always been interested in the Anzac legacy and remembering the ultimate sacrifice many Australian soldiers made,” she said. “World War I is often seen as a glorious occasion but it was about soldiers fighting for their country. It was a confronting experience for our soldiers, who faced conflict in harsh environments.”

Proud moment: Brindavani Sritharan and her parents recently met Premier Galdys Berejiklian and local MPs Geoff Lee (left) and Mark Taylor (right). Her family came to Australia after fleeing war in Sri Lanka.

Proud moment: Brindavani Sritharan and her parents recently met Premier Galdys Berejiklian and local MPs Geoff Lee (left) and Mark Taylor (right). Her family came to Australia after fleeing war in Sri Lanka.

Students will participate in a solemn ceremony in Beersheba to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Charge of the Fourth Light Horse Brigade, which was fought on October 31, 1917. It was the most noted action for First Australian Imperial Force’s mounted 4th Light Horse Brigade.

“The Battle of Beersheba is one of the lesser known battles of World War I, so I hope to get a better understanding of what the soldiers faced 100 years ago,” Brindavani said.

Brindavani remains unsure of her future career. She leaves on October 24 and returns November 5.

“These Anzac ambassadors will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our diggers and deepen their understanding of a legacy that has shaped Australia’s history,” Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott said.

ClubsNSW chief executive Anthony Ball added: “This is a unique opportunity for these six students to take their understanding of Australia’s history out of the classroom and ensure the Anzac spirit is appreciated for years to come.” 

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