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The 15 nation-wide Defence 2020 Youth Challenges have now been completed. They were very successful, with 87% of participants describing them as Excellent or Very Good.

Students loved the light-hearted Horror High 'ice breaker', and responded positively to the Australian Defence Force people from the three services that they met in their workshop groups. Some of the life stories of these people were powerful and moving, and students overwhelmingly thought that the ADF was producing men and women with great citizenship qualities. Congratulations to all those service personnel who represented the ADF so well, and who helped us all realise the breadth of the ADF's activities on behalf of Australia.

Click here to see photos, videos and evaluations of each Challenge.

Thanks to all the students who attended. We have received many entries to the Participation Task, and the judges are working on these right now. We look forward to seeing the winners at the Defence 2020 National Challenge in Sydney and Canberra in early December.

A special thanks also to Bernadette Lightfoot who communicates with everyone, meets and greets everyone, and organises every aspect of the day. Thanks Bern, your work goes above and beyond the call of duty, and you are greatly valued and appreciated.

Watch out early in 2009 for news of the next Defence 2020 Youth Challenge series, with a new theme and new resources to help you explore aspects of the ADF as a good citizen in our society.

We wish all participants a Happy Christmas and an exciting and fulfilling New Year - and as we said at each Challenge, 'May the Force be with you'!

Tim Gurry, Robert Lewis and Ken Given for the Defence 2020 Youth Challenge team.