Students to visit POW camp in Malaysia

Mindarie Senior College Year 11 student Emily Bredemeyer with teacher James McNeill.  Picture: Martin  Kennealey
Mindarie Senior College Year 11 student Emily Bredemeyer with teacher James McNeill. Picture: Martin Kennealey

EMILY Bredemeyer is one of 10 students from around WA chosen for the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour to Malaysia next year.

The Mindarie Senior College Year 11 student will travel to Labuan and Sabah next April, visiting historic sites before attending the Anzac Day commemorations at Sandakan, where a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp was established in 1942.

Emily said she was eager to be a part of the 2016 tour and have the opportunity to travel and learn about Malaysia.

“It is important for me, personally, to visit Malaysia as it is where my mum grew up; her father, my ‘Poppy’, was an armament fitter in the Royal Australian Air Force,” she said.

“I have always had a particular interest in history, which has been influenced by my passionate teachers, my parents and my grandparents’ involvement in war.

“The Anzac legacy is important to me and I want to make a personal contribution through storytelling and sharing our history with others.

“I want to share my experience with others upon my return to help preserve the memory of our prior war efforts and sacrifices.”

Premier Colin Barnett said it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 10 chosen students.

“The education program will cover Australia’s military involvement in the region during World War II, the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation,” he said.

To be eligible, students had to write a 1000-word essay on how West Australians had responded to wartime pressures, and whether they were united or divided.