Participation Task 2008 Overview

In 2008 Australian secondary students were invited to undertake an investigation about an aspect of the ADF that focussed on the issue of responsible citizenship. The participants were given guidelines as to what they could investigate (see below). Those students who demonstrated insightful understanding of the concept of responsible citizenship through their entries were selected to be part of a youth team that was able to showcase their work at the National Challenge. The following eighteen students were selected from a strong field on entries.

Exploring a person or group in the ADF – either a current or historical case study

The case study might be about a person or group who has served in a war or peace operation, or is currently serving today. It might focus on a family member, someone from your community or some other person or group who you have chosen to research. Aspects to be explored should include:

  • the context in which the person or group has served or is serving
  • the details of the person’s or group’s activities
  • how those activities demonstrate responsible citizenship
  • how they reflect on desirable qualities in the Navy, Army and Air Force.


Exploring an issue involving the Australian Defence Force

In this approach you might present an argument about a particular issue involving or affecting the ADF, such as whether Australia should adopt or continue to reject nuclear weapons, whether our government sufficiently looks after its ADF veterans, or whether Australia should be involved in a particular conflict. Many other issues
are possible. In your report you will be expected to show:

  • accurate and up-to date knowledge
  • an understanding of a variety of points of view
  • a balanced set of arguments
  • a clear and supportable conclusion
  • the relevance of the issue you have chosen to the concept of responsible citizenship in the Australian Defence Force now and in the future.


Winners of the Defence 2020 Participation Task

Adam Ryan

Darwin Middle School, NT

Edward George Kilminster
Adam explored the adventurous life of his great-great uncle, Edward Kilminister who joined the the Royal Engineers during World War Two. Sadly he was captured by the Japanese and was one of 2750 men who were killed on the infamous Sandakan death march.

View entry (.pdf, 14.2MB)

Amparo Do Campo

St Patricks College, TAS

Memorised by Responsible Citizenship
Amparo investigated the service of Corporal Jackson Smith who served in World War Two in the Mediterranean. Amparo was able to uncover a remarkable story of capture, imprisonment by the Germans and his subsequent escapes, culminating in Smith leading American troops in April 1945 to rescue POWs held by the Germans.

View entry (.pdf, 3.13MB)

michelle figueroa

Albany Creek SHS, QLD

Is the ADF a Responsible Citizen?
Michelle investigated the the role of the ADF in the Northern Territory Emergency Response. She concluded that the government at the time had not taken enough notice of Indigenous views and placed the ADF in a complex situation that made their task of being responsible citizens extremely difficult. That fact that they were able to do so showed the professionalism of the ADF.

View entry (.pdf, 390KB)

Brody Foy

Maleny State High School, QLD

Secret Agents of Innisfail
Brody uncovered a story that has recently come to air in Queensland relating to the alleged testing of the chemical agent orange near Innisfail, QLD during the Vietnam war period. He debated the citizenship qualities Australia showed in supporting our ally, the United States, whilst questioning the merit of doing so near a civilian centre. His finding also revealed a series of medical issues that the population suffer that are well above the norm. He raised the issue of how far should a nation go to support its allies, if it may mean hurting its own civilians.

View entry (.pdf, 2.37MB)

Camilla pondel

Ivanhoe Grammar School, VIC

ADF Survey
Camilla undertook a survey of students to find out what they knew about the ADF and how it was perceived by students, including those thinking about a career in the ADF. She then presented her findings on a DVD that provided an insight in the thinking of our youth in relation to the ADF and its work in Australia and overseas.

View entry (Survey) (.pdf, 24KB)
View entry (Survey results) (.pdf, 152KB)
Play video entry (.swf, 14MB)

carly Ryan

Nerang State High School, QLD

Should Australia Adopt or Continue to Reject Nuclear Weapons?
Carly investigated the potential adoption of nuclear weapons by the ADF and what it would mean for Australia and our relationship with our neighbours. Acknowledging that it is a government decision, she discussed the pros and cons of these weapons and how it would impact on the ADF.

View entry (.pdf,4.49MB)

CatArina piperidis

Albany Creek SHS, QLD

Operation Slipper
Catarina investigated the roles our ADF personnel are playing in Afghanistan. She concluded that Australian service personnel are helping to rebuild communities and are winning the trust of locals by their good deeds and respectful attitude towards the Afghan people. She concluded that not enough work was being done in Australia to make the public aware of the good citizenship being displayed by ADF personnel. Making the public aware of the great work the ADF is doing would foster a better and more sympathetic understanding in the community.

View entry (.pdf, 92KB)
Play video entry (.swf, 31MB)

Damian Staveley

Albany Creek SHS, QLD

Is the ADF a Responsible Citizen?
Damian looked at how the ADF and government work together to ensure both veterans and ADF personnel are cared for by the service and the governments they have served. Whilst acknowledging the work both government and ADF do for veterans and current serving personnel who have returned from stressful overseas duty, he concluded that the public and ADF need to be more forceful with the government to ensure Australia provides care and service second to none.

View entry (.pdf, 1.69MB)

emily gayton

St Michael's Collegiate School, TAS

Was the ADF a Responsible Citizen in it's role in INTERFET?
Emily was able to clearly demonstrate the very important work that ADF personnel have displayed in peace keeping operations in East Timor. She was able to establish, through many examples, the commitment of ADF personnel in helping to rebuild Timorese villages and communities.

View entry (.pdf, 57KB)

gemma lovell

Tasmania On-Line Network, TAS

What the People of Bothwell had done in WWI
Gemma was able to highlight the way in which the people of Bothwell contributed to Australia's war effort during The Great War. She was able to focus on a number of young men who served their country, showing the values of good citizenship.

View entry (.pdf, 5.30MB)

jacinta honner

Tasmania On-Line Network, TAS

Hero of the Innocent: Ralph Honner
Jacinta investigated the life and service of Lt Colonel Ralph Honner, a hero of the Second World War who led his men by example, and was greatly respected for his leadership qualities.

View entry (.pdf, 5.30MB)

Aurora Tait

Shenton College, WA

AVM Julie Hammer
Aurora investigated the career of Air Vice Marshall Julie Hammer RAAF who has become a role model to many young women. Her promotion through the ranks has inspired Aurora as it shows that women can achieve in the ADF based on ability, hard work and dedication.

View entry (.pdf, 1.5MB)

rex ho

Shenton College, WA

Operation Resolute
Rex investigated the work of the ADF in protecting our northern waters from illegal fishing, unauthorised refugee movements and smuggling. He came to realise the valuable, and often dangerous work ADF personnel carry out in order to protect our shores and resources.

View entry (.pdf, 89KB)

sophie phillip

Darwin Middle School, NT

James Robertson 'Ted' Curtis - A Rat of Tobruk
Sophie investigated her grandfather, Ted Philip who was a soldier of World War Two. Her investigation revealed that he was one of famous group of men who defeated the Germans at Tobruk and later was a member of the force that inflicted the first defeat of Japanese forces at Milne Bay in 1942. She was able explore the courage and determination that men like her grandfather displayed whilst standing resolute and defiant against overwhelming odds, and succeeded.

View entry (.pdf, 2.79MB)

jeremy travers & BIANCA Kokinovic

Eagle Vale High School, NSW

ADF Veterans
Jeremy and Brankica teamed up to investigate the treatment of ex-service men and women. They concluded that our government and ADF did a better job than the British in looking after these national heroes but there was still room for improvement, and they made a number of suggestions as to how veterans good be better treated.

View entry (.pdf, 3.71MB)
Play video entry (.swf, 21MB)

Fletcher Luders & Tom Conroy

Sanderson Middle School, NT

John Simpson Kirkpatrick
Fletcher and Tom investigated the service of John Simpson at Gallipoli. Through their investigation they uncovered evidence that is not widely known. Simpson developed a great rapport with the Gurrkahs on Gallipoli with whom he shared his meals and rested Murphy, his donkey, with those the Gurrkahs used to move their artillery. Simpson was loved by all, and his loss was deeply felt by those Indian soldiers with whom he had created a very special bond.

View entry (.pdf, 2.44MB)


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