Participation Task 2009 Overview

Australian Defence Force personnel were part of the first ever United Nations peacekeeping force in 1947, and have been part of another 50 since then.

The role and contribution of the ADF to peacekeeping, and the enthusiasm of governments for it, have varied over time. But modern times see the ADF involved in peacekeeping in record numbers and in a variety of places in the world. It is now a key aspect of the ADF’s professional activities.

In 2009 students were invited to do a Participation Task on the topic – Are Australia’s Peacekeepers Responsible Citizens?

To do this they were asked to explore whether the activities of our peacekeepers demonstrate values that are worth living up to and that should be applauded and promoted as part of responsible citizenship. Are these the values you want the ADF to stand for in 2020? How should Australia’s peacekeepers be honored or commemorated in Australian society?

Exploring an individual or group

Students could either profile an individual or group of ADF peacekeepers – either currently serving or who have served in the past. The case study might focus on a family member, someone from the student’s own community or some other person or group.

Aspects to be explored included:

• the context in which the person or group has served or is serving
• the details of the person’s or group’s peacekeeping activities
• whether these activities demonstrate responsible citizenship
• how they reflect desirable qualities in the Navy, Army and Air Force
• how you think the role of peacekeepers could be commemorated by the
• Australian people.

Winners of the 2009 Defence 2020 Participation Task Once again this year the entries were well researched, thoughtful and innovative in approach and presentation. Click on the links of the national winners below to see for yourself.


Winners of the Defence 2020 Participation Task

Once again this year the entries were well researched, thoughtful and innovative in approach and presentation. Click on the links of the national winners below to see for yourself.

Isaac Riella

St Augustine's College, Cairns, QLD

In his essay Australian Heroes, Issac argued that the values of the ADF should be promoted amongst young Australians and that the role of our peacekeepers should be commemorated – perhaps with a statue of an Australian peacekeeper who is helping a wounded civilian, or an Australian peacekeeper helping rebuild a house or a school.

View entry (.pdf, 36KB)

kate Lovell

Tasmanian Online Campus
Bothwell District High School, TAS

Kate profiled Lieutenant Commander David Hughes and his ‘one mission wearing the Blue Beret’ in Sudan. The mission was a stabilization and peace monitoring type designed to monitor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement in 2005. In his interview David said that ‘one has to show that he or she is a responsible citizen to be selected for UN duties’.

View entry (.pdf, 2.3MB)

Aiden Bowerman

Tasmanian Online Campus
Bothwell District High School, TAS

Aiden explored the deployments of 5th/7th Battalion, formally known as the Pipes and Drums. In an interesting interview with peacekeeper Sergeant Andrew B Smith, Aiden learned that to be a good peacekeeper and officer you need to be well rounded, well educated, fit and able to work under great pressure. He concluded his participation task with a diary of how he researched and organized his work – a good model for other students to follow.

View entry (.pdf, 168KB)

Lauren Moseley

Nambour Christian College, QLD

Lauren wrote a lovely poem – Ode to Australian Peacekeeping – which portrayed the roles of our peacekeepers as responsible global citizens.
‘Since 1949, selfless Australian men and women, Working alongside the United Nations, Over 50 Peacekeeping missions, Assisting troubled nations; creating strong relations.’

View entry (.pdf, 36KB)

Jeana Evans

Tasmanian Online Campus
Campbell Town DHS, TAS

Jeana profiled the career of Captain Carol Vaughan Evans who was in charge of a casualty clearing post, in Kibeho during the Kibeho Massacre in 1995. The Australian Army was serving there as part of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. Captain Carol Vaughan Evans was in charge of the south Rwandan post when the government forces opened fire upon the casualties inside. Those who survived with her and her team’s help will forever remember the courage that she showed on this day.

View entry (.pdf, 92KB)

Isabelle Patch

Hilliard Christian School, TAS

In her photo essay – Australian Peacekeepers, True Blue Mates – Isabelle investigated Operation Slipper as a case study in responsible citizenship. She showcased the myriad of military and humanitarian activities involved and concluded that ‘all of the Australian Task Forces work together as a united team under the banner of the Australian Defence Force Peacekeepers reflecting very professional and desirable qualities that the Australian people can be proud of’.

View entry (.pdf, 3.5MB)

Brett Mangon

St Augustine's P-12 College, VIC

Brett explored the Australian peacekeeping missions in Rwanda and came up with a great suggestion for how our peacekeepers should be commemorated – a memorial featuring a massive hand reaching out to hundreds of little hands, surrounded by all the names of people who have died peacekeeping for Australia. It should be placed somewhere along Anzac Parade in Canberra.

View entry (.pdf, 472KB)

Samantha Reed

Tasmanian Online Campus
Campbell Town DHS, TAS

Trooper Jonathan Church has become a symbol of the Defence 2020 program and in her essay Samantha helped us to understand and appreciate the extraordinary humanitarian work of this man. As a medic in Rawanda he saved the lives of hundreds of people. His most moving work was the collection of babies from the killing fields, restoring their health and placing them in local orphanages. For Samantha, Jon Church represents the ultimate in responsible citizenship.

View entry (.pdf, 1.1MB)

Nicolas Petrie

Tasmanian Online Campus
Campbell Town DHS, TAS

Nick’s very well researched essay profiled two Australian peacekeepers – Lieutenant Commander David Hughes and Flying Officer Kristian Lyrstedt. David, who always wanted to be in the Navy, served in the Sudan, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and in the Pacific. Kristian has been deployed to East Timor where she worked in support of local orphanages. Both David and Kristian believe that ‘life without the Defence Force would be like not having a police force, fire brigade or ambulance. They believe that it is such an important job in society and it a great way to help your country out in difficult times’.

View entry (.pdf, 72KB)

Allan Sheppard

Loganlea State High School, QLD

Allan’s dynamic You Tube video brought the activities of ADF peacekeeping to life. Allan chose this medium because it is popular with young Australians whom he believes should learn more about the role of the Australian Defence Force. Allan would like to join the Navy and make his own contribution to peacekeeping in the future.

View Online Entry

Ryno Neser

Kingston High School, TAS

Ryno wrote a very well researched assignment that surveyed Australia’s peacekeeping efforts and interviewed Warrant Officer Class Two Kate McGrath, a logistics officer with the Army. Kate spoke of her experiences in East Timor and also outlined the qualities she believes a good peacekeeper must have. Ryno was so inspired with his participation in the Defence 2020 program that he is currently pursuing an ADF career ‘to help other people around the world’.

View entry (.pdf, 232KB)

Ben Doolan

St Augustine's P-12 College, VIC

Ben wrote about Air Force Technician Sergeant Stephen Thackery who was deployed in Afghanistan as a medic on a helicopter. One week after being deployed he was flown out to a suicide bombing where he treated four patients who were all critical. Helping those in need whilst exposing your self to danger is a great example of responsible citizenship.

View entry (.pdf, 36KB)

Siobhan McCarthy

Mercy College, NSW

Siobhan investigated the killing fields of Rwanda in 1994 and the wonderful and courageous humanitarian work of people like war artist George Gittoes and Trooper Jonathan Church. Whilst she applauded the efforts of the Australia’s peacekeepers who were there she concluded that ‘being a good global citizen is all about having good ethics and consistently acting on them. The UN and Australia’s reaction to the Rwandan genocide was inadequate and demonstrated poor global citizenship.

View entry (.pdf, 1.01MB)


Maleny State High School, QLD

Ben’s dynamic Power Point presentation explored both the positive and negative consequences of peacekeeping. In the negatives he included the lack of cultural awareness, the loss of life and the dependence upon aid. One the positive side he noted the restoration of peace and numerous humanitarian acts. He concluded with a lovely shot of a teddy bear wearing a blue beret and stated – ‘I’d be proud to be an Australian peacekeeper!’

View entry (.pdf, 576KB)

Madeleine Pugin

Nerang State High School, QLD

Madeleine concluded in her analysis of Australian peacekeeping that ‘being responsible is to be capable of rational conduct and to be trustworthy involving important duties'. This has been clearly demonstrated by Australian Peacekeepers throughout numerous missions all across the globe. Australian citizenship symbolizes our unity as a nation. It represents a commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. Peacekeepers uphold the values of Australian citizens to a standard, which makes them honorable. Their honor should be commemorated for the rest of time as they have sacrificed so much to help keep peace in the world’.

View entry (.pdf, 1.6MB)

Johanna Uebel

Mareeba State High School, QLD

Johanna argued in the essay that training is the key to our peacekeepers being responsible citizens. Before entering a foreign country ADF peacekeepers are educated/briefed on the countries background, culture and habits to ensure their being there will not have a negative effect on the locals by what they’re doing. This may include:
• what language they use (no cursing/swearing)
• how they act
• how they look at and treat the native women, and
• keen awareness of the cultural boundaries.

View entry (.pdf, 200KB)

Kyle Burrows

Maleny State High School, QLD

Kyle’s entry took a very personal approach. He included extracts from a war diary by Private Wally C Burrows about his experiences in the Vietnam War, especially the loss of his best mate. Wally survived Vietnam but he did not live to see the birth of his grandson Kyle. But his spirit lives on. In the words of Kyle – ‘Every year I wear the greatest thing in the world on Anzac Day – Private Burrows’ medals – and I march with them and listen to the Last Post and look at the Australian flag because I’m proud of what they’ve done to protect me and Australia’.

View entry (.pdf, 64KB)

JACK Webster

Nabour Christian College, QLD

The thesis of Jack’s excellent essay was - Peacekeeping has and will continue to mature the methods in which Australia and other countries communicate with unstable nations, through the reconciliation with all parties involved. Soldiers that participate in these courageous operations deserve to be recognized for their unique contribution to the overall Australian Defence Landscape.

View entry (.pdf, 680KB)

Henry Boeck

St John's College, NT

Henry explored Operation SLIPPER, which involves the ADF contributing to the efforts of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) led by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to prevent Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. Henry profiled Corporal John Edward Croydon who served on Operation Slipper in 2008. When asked about the sacrifices involved he said – ‘You train for this and to do it properly is something you have to do, but it doesn’t make leaving your family and putting your life on the line any easier’.

View entry (.pdf, 1.3MB)


Jessica Teagle & rebekah Turner

Maleny State High School, QLD

Jess and Bek compiled a very colorful Power Point presentation about peacekeeping, which profiled Colonel Alison Creagh who has served in Cambodia, East Timor and Afghanistan. They believe that Alison is a wonderful role model for all Australians as are the veterans who live in their small Queensland town. The girls concluded ‘It is men and women like those in our town and especially Alison Creagh who make us and our fellow school mates wake up in the morning and leave our house to get an education. We are inspired by those who sacrificed their lives for us’.

View entry (.pdf, 2.6MB)

Laila Wade and Haylea Gusling

Palmerston High School, NT

These two girls from Palmerston HS in the Northern Territory reckon that ‘most people would not know what a peacekeeper is!’ So they interviewed Trooper NIcholos Boye who served in Afghanistan to find out. Trooper Boye helped with the reconstruction and to mentor the people of Afghanistan, in the province he was based in. When asked about the role of a peacekeeper Trooper Boyle replied – ‘A peace keeper provides a presence to aid the stabilization in a country that is unstable’.

View entry (.pdf, 148KB)


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