Mr Stanton first pitched the idea of an Anzac youth parade and service to RSL members, Cockburn Council and local schools back in 2001. His vision was introduced the next year when 800 students and teachers from 12 local schools took part, with the event growing over the following decade.
Last Wednesday more than 1500 students representing 27 schools gathered at the edge of Cockburn Council’s administration building before embarking on an 850m march from Coleville Crescent to the RSL Memorial Park just off Spearwood Avenue.
Mr Stanton said he could not be happier seeing local students paying tribute to Australian heroes.
‘It’s hard to express in words my pleasure and satisfaction seeing my 2001 vision for the youth of Cockburn grow to the size it is today,’ he said.
‘I most certainly am very proud to witness such a very unique parade and service.
‘All you have to do is to look at the students’ faces and see them waving their Australian flags. This shows you their excitement about being involved in this very special youth event.’
Beeliar Primary School principal Pam Pollard said her students looked forward to participating each year.
‘Our school holds Anzac Day and the work of Australian soldiers in really high esteem, so we love being part of this annual event,’ she said.
‘For the students to see others in the wider community sharing their view and for the chance to represent their school, the event is great.’