Antoine armed for visit to battlefields
ANTOINE van Overbeek will be following family footsteps when he travels to the Western Front in Europe later this year.
The Year 10 student at St Andrew's Christian School has been selected as one of 24 NSW scholars to participate in the 2016 Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship Tour.
It will take him to historical battlefields in France and Belgium where he will attend centenary commemorations for the battles at Pozieres and Fromelles.
"Being chosen as part of the trip is very exciting," Antoine said. "I was surprised when I was told I would be going."
It was last year that Antoine took part in the application process that included writing a series of essays.
He highlighted the experiences of his great-great-great grandfather and his relative's cousin, both Aboriginal men, during the war and after they returned.
"Being indigenous, I was interested in the fact they went over there to fight but my great-great-great grandfather came back he was not treated very well," Antoine said.
The 15-year-old from Ulmarra has his sights on a career as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force.
St Andrew's Christian School principal Mac Lindsay said Antoine's selection in the touring party was exciting for the school.
"When the Premier's Department called my I though it might have been someone playing a joke," he said.
"It is a great opportunity for Antione, and it is also important for the district and for other students to see you can apply for scholarships like this and be successful."