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Students in Years 9-10 are invited to submit an essay or other historical writing (e.g., a report, diary entry, newspaper article, feature article) to the 2021 Modern History Competition supported by the Cairns RSL Sub branch. 

The competition carries with it a cash prize sponsored by the Business Liaison Association

First Prize             $200

Runner Up           $130

Encouragement Award(s) at the discretion of the judging panel


Winners will be presented with their prizes at the Annual Aspire Awards Ceremony. The winning school will also receive a plaque.

The Awards Presentation Night will be held on 30 November at Pullman Cairns International Hotel, 5.30pm-7.30pm. Students receiving awards are expected to be in attendance in full school uniform.  Details of the Presentation Night will be forwarded to individual prize winners.


Select one of the following topics


  1. Australian military forces have played a significant part in wars, across several continents. From Gallipoli to Afghanistan, Australian servicemen and women had a variety of experiences, in battle and as prisoners of war. Research a topic of your choice about Australia’s wartime experiences.  Some possible areas of research might include:


  • The development of the Anzac legend
  • The impact of war on soldiers and their families
  • The role of women in Australia’s wartime history
  • The conscription debates of the First World War
  • The Battle of Kokoda



  1. Legacy grew out of the ashes of WWI and is still caring for tens of thousands of widows who have lost their loved ones and been affected by their partner’s service in the Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Vietnam War; as well as campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and in peacekeeping operations across the globe.


Examine the impact on families of those Veterans who have or who are serving in the Australian Defence Force in one or more post-modern conflicts or peacekeeping operations.


Students should:

  • analyse and synthesise primary and/or secondary sources
  • develop a hypothesis
  • Use sustained analysis, synthesis and evaluation to fully support the hypothesis
  • Include a recognised system of referencing to support the historical argument
  • Include a reference list
  • Write within the word limit 700-1200 words (including direct quotations)


Please ensure that the submitted essays are word processed with one and a half line spacing. 

A $88 (inc GST) registration fee per school is payable to the Business Liaison Association. Following registration, tax invoices will be issued to participating schools.


I look forward to receiving an electronic version of your students’ work with the attached registration form (page 4) at the address below by Friday 10 September 2021.

Mrs. Catherine Taifalos

Competition Co-ordinator

C/- Saint Monica’s College

177 Abbott Street

Cairns QLD 4870


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me by:


Email: ctaifalos1@stmonicas.qld.edu.au 

Phone: (07) 4042 4800


Closing Date: Friday 16th September, 2022


1. Modern History Competition 2021.docx

For more details, please contact the coordinator shown below:

Coordinator: Mrs Catherine Taifalos

Phone: 4042 4800

Email: ctaifalos1@stmonicas.qld.edu.au