Year 12 students Anton Merakovsky and Liza Clerehan are our co-captains this year.
"I feel very proud to be representing Elwood College as captain with Liza," Anton writes. "To be given the opportunity to work with the students and teachers of Elwood is one I will greatly enjoy. We want to contribute to the academic and social dynamic within the school. We are both very excited for 2017 and are looking forward to having an impact on the College in our final year."
Every year our captains speak at the Anzac Day ceremony at Elwood Sailing Club. Here are excerpts from Liza and Anton's speeches this year.
Liza: Today, I am wearing the medals of my great grandfather, Adrian Cole - someone who was and is publically recognised for his efforts in both world wars. However, it is essential that we acknowledge all individuals whose courage and sacrifice contributed so much to shaping the identity of this nation, and to those that continue to serve, as Australians gather today, in the thousands, or in communities such as ours, to do just that.
With thanks to the ANZACs and other Australian men and women, of the past and present, we can all learn to unite and accept one another, as the spirit of the Anzacs bonds us all, today, and in all days. With this, we can take these virtues into the future.
Anton: As a 17 year old on the cusp of adulthood, I cannot begin to understand the terror which our ANZAC soldiers would have faced on the shores of Gallipoli, many of whom would have been the same age as I am. I believe the best way of paying our respects to the ANZACs is by embodying the very spirit which was born on this day, 102 years ago. The values of courage, honour, endurance, initiative, discipline and mateship are ones which we should hold with the utmost importance. Not just on this day, but on all our days, as that is what it means to be Australian.
The way in which we pay our respects should be more than just a moment of silence, one day of the year, or by wearing a badge or attending a football game. It is essential that we embody these traits, as to not allow the sacrifice of our ANZACs to be in vain. We must be courageous and fight for what we believe in, even in the face of adversity, just as our soldiers have. We must never give up at the first hurdle, but strive for greater. In a divisive world, we must remember to love and respect our fellow man, rather than cast him aside.