Cassandra awarded scholarship
IT WAS Cassandra Keogh’s respect for her Evans Head family and her interest in war history that saw her awarded a Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholarship in Sydney.
She was one of 20 to be honoured at the Hyde Park Memorial ceremony last Saturday.
As part of the scholarship, 15-year-old Cassandra will travel to the Western Front battlefields in Belgium and France in November next year.
“My grandpa has done a lot of research on the history of our family, some of them were in the war,” she said.
The war service of her great-grandfather who served at Gallipoli, a great-uncle who died on the Burma railway and her grandfather who was a national service conscript during the Vietnam War have fuelled Cassandra’s interest in war history.
“I love to hear my grandfather’s stories. Evans Head was the local RAAF aerodrome and practice bombing range in World War II and I’ve grown up knowing people who worked on the range,” she said.
Her 97-year old great-grandmother told her stories too.
“I like listening to her stories of the Depression, of her husband who was in World War I and World War II and about times in the war when she needed tokens to buy basic necessities,” Cassandra said.
The scholarship will cover all Cassandra’s costs including travel, accommodation, meals, insurance and official clothing.
The hardest thing, she said was being away from her family for two weeks.
“My mum would like to come with me,” Cassandra said.
Two teachers will supervise the trip and when Cassandra returns she plans to hold slide shows at the RSL and for her classmates at Evans River K-12 School.