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Army March 17, 2011
By Natalie Alexander
SIX soldiers will soon head overseas
to learn about Australia's military his-
tory as part of the Chief of Army 'I'm
an Australian Soldier' Scholarships for
For the first time, the number of
scholarships has doubled to allow three
soldiers to visit key historical battlefields
in France, joining three others who will
tour Gallipoli in Turkey.
CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie congrat-
ulated the recipients at a ceremony in
Canberra on March 3, which was also
attended by the French Ambassador to
Australia Michel Filhol and Turkish First
Counsellor Sibel Müderrisoglu.
Lt-Gen Gillespie said the scholarship
program, initiated by former CA Lt-Gen
Peter Leahy, was formed to recognise
excellence in junior leadership and to
provide soldiers with first-hand exposure
to Australia's past wartime contributions.
"The decision was made to have
another three scholarships to reflect that
strong junior leadership isn't something
that's quite narrow in our organisa-
tion, it's actually something that's very
healthy," he said.
The recipients of this year's Gallipoli
scholarship are Cpl Erin Moore, 10FSB,
and Bdr Peter Smith and Cpl Matthew
Cpl Rebecca Piper, RMC-D, Bdr
Shane Fender, 7 Fd Regt, and LCpl
Nicholas Lines, 2CER, were selected as
the first soldiers to take the study tour to
The six soldiers will embark on an
intensive tour led by an Army historian,
exploring significant wartime sites and
participating in commemorative activi-
ties such as the official Gallipoli Anzac
Lt-Gen Gillespie said past tours to
Turkey had been successful in educating
personnel about the Gallipoli campaign
and its significance to modern Australia.
"The participants sing for their sup-
per and work their way through the
Anzac ceremony," he said.
"That's been going very well and I
think we have achieved over that time
what Lt-Gen Leahy set out to do."
Cpl Moore, who will travel to Turkey,
said she was excited to be following in
the footsteps of past soldiers.
"We'll be on a two-week military
study tour, so at the end we'll basically
come out being like tour guides," she
"We'll definitely be on our stomachs,
crawling on treks and observing to see
exactly what the Anzacs would have
faced from their point of view."
Lt-Gen Gillespie said he decided
to broaden the scholarship to include
Study tour on itinerary
France to help soldiers understand more
about the nation's involvement at the
"While Gallipoli is in everybody's
psyche in Australia -- everyone can talk
to you about Gallipoli -- the reality of it
is that most of the carnage and damage
was done to the Australian military on
the battlefields of France and Belgium,"
LCpl Lines said he was looking for-
ward to the journey to France, as he
believed the battlefield of the Western
Front in World War I was still a mystery
to many soldiers and the public.
"We had some great victories and
some great defeats that I think over the
years have been overlooked," he said.
"I think it'd be good to learn more
about it and bring that history back, even
if it's just back to our own units and our
Applications for the scholarship close
in September each year, and all soldiers
from the ranks of private, lance corporal
and corporal are encouraged to apply.
Scholarship recipients: Left to right, LCpl Nicholas Lines, Cpl Rebecca Piper, Bdr Shane Fender, French Ambassador Michel Filhol, Turkish First
Counsellor Sibel Müderrisoglu, CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie, Cpl Matthew Luhtasaari, Cpl Erin Moore and Bdr Peter Smith.
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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