Clayton said he was honoured to be chosen as one of 10 WA youth ambassadors to travel to Malaysia from April 22 to May 2.
‘I am definitely looking forward to learning about Malaysian culture, Australia’s military involvement there and experiencing that history in such a unique way,’ the Year 10 student said.
‘I am hoping to share my experience and encourage others to be as proud about Australia’s military history as I am.’
As a Bruce Rock District High School student last year, Clayton said his Society and Environment teacher inspired his class to enter the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour essay competition.
‘When I found out the topic was to examine one West Australian’s experience of war, I instantly thought that I could write my essay on a local Vietnam veteran called Paul Hutton,’ he said.
‘I wrote about Paul because I had always thought the story of the Vietnam War had never been told as much as other wars and I thought the essay would be much better if I personally interviewed him and got his side of the story.’
Clayton said he was not sure why the judges chose him out of the many other finalists, but perhaps his essay stood out because he was passionate about history.
‘The judges may have seen that I have a strong connection with Australia’s military history and the Anzac spirit and legacy,’ he said.
Mazenod College Society and Environment Head of Department Richard Kostecki said the school was obviously very proud of Clayton.
‘This will be his first trip overseas and he is excited at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a greater knowledge about Australia’s military involvement in the region,’ he said.
Clayton has received awards in the National History Competition, the Australian Geography Competition and was recently selected in the Youth Parliament Program.
During the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour, students and staff will visit important historical sites in Sabah and Labuan and attend Anzac Day commemorations at Sandakan.