Dates, locations and venues

Date Location Venue
18/05/09 Alice Springs Voyages Hotel
19/05/09 Darwin Darwin Middle School
21/05/09 Geraldton Ocean Centre Hotel
22/05/09 Perth Alexander Theatre, State Library WA
09/06/09 Bendigo Capital Theatre
10/06/09 Melbourne Victoria University
11/06/09 Mount Gambier Presidential Motor Inn
12/06/09 Adelaide Technology Park Conference Centre
29/06/09 Wollongong University Conference Centre
30/06/09 Sydney Australian National Maritime Museum
01/07/09 Canberra University House, ANU
08/07/09 Hobart Hobart Conference Centre
09/08/09 Launceston Tram Shed Conference Centre
20/08/09 Brisbane Park Regis Hotel
21/08/09 Cairns Rydges Hotel

Investigating Defence Issues and Your Future: Are Australia's Peacekeepers Responsible Citizens?


In 2009 some 1600 students, teachers and Australian Defence Force peacekeepers participated in the DEFENCE 2020 - Investigating Defence Issues and Your Future: Are Australia’s Peacekeepers Responsible Citizens? - Youth Challenge Program.

What would you do if you witnessed a massacre and could not help? Or saw a child about to stand on a mine? Or had to decide who could be rescued from an emergency and who had to be left behind?

The 2009 program encouraged participants to look at all the above situations and more in coming to understand the nature of Australia's peacekeeping.

Students began by knowing very little — but as they worked through the specially constructed interactive program they started to realize the great variety and complexity of activities that are covered by the word ‘peacekeeping’.

They learned that ‘peace’ often involves violence and danger, and that we often require our peacekeepers to put themselves in harm’s way while representing the nation.

They learned that there have been occasions in the past when our ADF peacekeepers were forced by ‘rules of engagement’ to watch helplessly as people were massacred. Many peacekeepers continue to suffer because of the physical and mental demands they experience in Australia’s name.

Students also learned of many acts of bravery, of selflessness and of humanity that characterize so many of our peacekeepers.

Students did not blindly accept all this information — they critically evaluated evidence, explored failures as well as successes, and learned about the role of national self-interest in peacekeeping, as well as the good global citizenship that is part of Australia’s peacekeeping efforts.

Upon completion of the 2009 series of the Youth Challenges around Australia students were invited to undertake the PARTICIPATION TASK — with winners from all states and territories, making the final part of this journey to Canberra to the National Youth Challenge in September. See links to this event below.

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Participant Evaluation of the 2009 program

Overall Evaluation

Very Good
1 Alice Springs
25 (34%)
30 (40%)
19 (25%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
2 Darwin
38 (48%)
26 (33%)
13 (16%)
3 (4%)
0 (0%)
3 Geraldton
32 (43%)
36 (48%)
6 (8%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
4 Perth
63 (44%)
67 (47%)
13 (9%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
5 Bendigo
27 (36%)
30 (39%)
18 (25%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
6 Melbourne
18 (32%)
33 (58%)
5 (8%)
1 (2%)
0 (0%)
7 Mount Gambier
21 (45%)
21 (45%)
5 (10%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
8 Adelaide
37 (42%)
43 (48%)
8 (9%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
9 Wollongong
34 (41%)
37 (46%)
12 (13%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
10 Sydney
36 (32%)
75 (53%)
20 (14%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
11 Canberra
39 (44%)
41 (47%)
5 (6%)
3 (3%)
0 (0%)
12 Hobart
45 (50%)
37 (41%)
7 (8%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
13 Launceston
34 (40%)
39 (46%)
10 (12%)
1 (1%)
0 (0%)
14 Brisbane
39 (41%)
51 (54%)
5 (5%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
15 Cairns
31 (37%)
47 (55%)
5 (6%)
2 (2%)
0 (0%)
529 (40%)
613 (47%)
151 (12%)
15 (1%)
0 (0%)

Here is what some participants have said were the best things about the day:

‘I really liked interacting and working in the workshop so we could actually do something instead of being lectured at and getting bored.’
(Student, Darwin Middle School, NT)
‘The student workshop provided a great opportunity to discuss and understand different situations.’
(Student, Palmerston High School, NT)
‘Meeting new people and learning new stuff. Also seeing it in real life through the peacekeepers present.’
(Student, Darwin Middle School, NT)
‘I had fun and enjoyed it! And the food was great!!’
(Student, O’Loughlin Catholic College, NT)
‘Was an excellent interactive presentation, with a diverse range of learning, content and interaction.’
(Defence representative, Darwin)
‘Meeting and talking to the ADF guests let me get to know who they are and what they are about, and how their peacekeeping affects their lives and the lives of the people they help.’
(Student, Geraldton Senior College, WA)
‘Gave us a chance to ask questions and be involved.’
(Student, Geraldton Senior College, WA)
‘Having fun and laughing while learning at the same time.’
(Student, Geraldton Senior College, WA)
‘Students were educated, challenged, motivated and always engaged.’
(Teacher Geraldton Senior College, WA)
‘Speaking with the kids!’
(Defence representative, WA)
‘The role play presentations were funny!’
(Student, Halls Head Community College, WA)
‘Hearing from the peacekeepers about their experiences.’
(Student, Narrogin Senior High School, WA)
‘As a quiet and usually anti-social person, I haven’t said this before — the workshop was really good and the people were really great. This was a wonderful experience. I congratulate you on your ingenuity and creativity, and thank the Defence guests. Thanks!
(Student, WA)
‘Getting to hear from the ADF peacekeepers, and the well-organised running of the day. A great day for students!’
(Teacher, Ashdale Secondary College, WA)
‘Exposure of students to citizenship issues beyond the classroom.’
(Teacher, Narrogin Senior High School, WA)

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YC 2009 Galleries & Individual Evaluations

Select from the links below to see photos, videos and evaluations from each of the Youth Challenges in 2009.


Alice Springs Darwin Geraldton
Perth Bendigo Melbourne
Mount Gambier Adelaide Wollongong
Sydney Canberra Hobart
Launceston Brisbane Cairns


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DEFENCE 2020 National Youth Challenge 2009

Video highlights of the program


Extracted clips

The 2009 series of the DEFENCE 2020 - Are Australia's Peacekeepers responsible Citizens? - concluded with the National Youth Challenge in Canberra on 16th September 2009. Please follow the links below to view latest news article, the Participation Task entries from the winning students and a photo gallery of the day.

More Resources


Youth Challenge


ADF Long Tan Leadership & Teamwork Awards

 ADF LogoThe ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Awards are available annually to every school in Australia with students in Years 10, 11 or 12. They are awarded to recognise students who demonstrate leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader local community. Year 10 winners receive $100, Year 11 winners receive $250 and Year 12 winners receive $500.
More information

Defending Australia and its National Interests Small shape of Australia with tagline