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Let the light shine at St Pat’s

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Last Wednesday, the Kilmore-Wallan Returned Services League (RSL) sub-branch and St Patrick’s Primary School hosted a short documentary, Let The Light Shine.

More than 200 people attended St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kilmore for the premiere, which featured a student-led project called Honouring Our Local Heroes.

The project was funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affair’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program. It enabled GLASS Inc., a not-for-profit organisation, to facilitate the project.

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Project Manager Lynne Dore said their volunteers support glass artists, designers, and students.

The documentary was narrated and scripted by Fiona Gruber and filmed by Dr David Smith. Among the notaries was Dr Bronwyn Hughes, who co-founded GLASS Inc. in 2015.

Ms Hughes is an art historian with a fascination for 19th and 20th century sculpture and stained glass, and Dr Bart Ziino, who also featured in the documentary, is a leading scholar on Australia’s involvement in the first World War.

Under the tutorage of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) teacher Shelley Michalke, the students captured the stories of over 30 local war veterans. They published each interview to the internet and attached a QR code to the commemorative plaque on the Soldiers Memorial Hall in Sydney Street, Kilmore, the veterans’ stories carefully preserved for future generations.

Ms Michalke said the project started in the middle of Covid-19.

“We had always planned it, but obviously we brought it forward. It was something we wanted to re-engage the kids back into the school with,” she said.

She said the project provided a creative opportunity for students to learn about Australia’s important military history and use information technology to catalogue their research.

“Depending on where the student’s passion was, if it was in photography, they did photography. If they were interested in editing videos, they did that. If they were interested in interviewing, they went into the interviewing team,” Ms Michalke said.

An extension of the project has been made to populate the school corridor with poppies.

The school has an ongoing relationship with the RSL community and invites their members to afternoon tea every Friday to paint together.

Principal Michael Bourne said the school values education and community involvement.

“The school highly values family school partnerships, where home and school actively work together,” he said.

The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour is also featured in the film.

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