Camden teen to visit battlefields

Youth ambassador: Camden MP Chris Patterson was present when Eeva Lehtonin was chosen as one of six students for the Premier’s Anzac Ambassadors Program.
Youth ambassador: Camden MP Chris Patterson was present when Eeva Lehtonin was chosen as one of six students for the Premier’s Anzac Ambassadors Program.

Eeva Lehtonen’s passion for history has paid off.

The Camden High School student was just one of six high school students across the state to be chosen for the Premier’s Anzac Ambassadors Program.

Eeva will go on a two-week tour of battlefields in Athens, Lemnos, Crete, Jerusalem and Beersheba.

“The idea of entering the scholarship competition was proposed to me by my history teacher,” she said.

“I had to write an essay about why the Anzac centenary was important and why the Battle of Beersheba captured the Anzac spirit.”

Eeva said she didn’t know anything about the battle prior to writing her essay.

“It was a battle in WWI that we won in an hour – it’s one of the greatest victories of the war and no one really knows about it,” she said.

“It was quite eye-opening to learn about it and it made me wonder what else we might not know about.”

Eeva will also be part of a solemn ceremony in Beersheba to commemorate the centenary of the Charge of the Fourth Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba.

The Camden local said she was excited to visit such important historical places.

“I was really excited when they told me I would be going,” she said.

“When we go over there I think it will be quite emotional for all of us because we understand so deeply as Australians that the battles are a part of who we are.”

Camden MP Chris Patterson congratulated Eeva on being one of six successful students. “Eeva is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and I know the whole Camden community wishes her the best and will be eager to hear about what she has learnt while on the tour,” he said.

Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott said the tour will bring the Anzac story to life for Eeva.

“It was a tough competition and while not everyone was successful, these Anzac ambassadors will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our diggers and deepen their understanding of a legacy that has shaped Australia’s history,” he said.

Eeva will leave on Tuesday, October 24 and return on Sunday, November 5.