Writers Festival Explores the Story of the Lucas Girls

November 11, 2022

For the past two weeks, Napoleons Primary School's 80 pupils have immersed themselves in the locally written and illustrated book Three Thousand Eight Hundred and One Trees (and each one has a name).

The book, written by Naomi Irvin, illustrated by Liv Lorkin and commissioned by Integra, tells the story of Ballarat's soldiers and nurses who enlisted in World War I and the Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory created to remember them.

As part of Remembrance Day, Naomi and Liv visited the school to be part of the Writer’s Festival. They were thrilled to see the Arch of Victory, the Avenue of Honour and the stories of our servicemen and women represented in many creative ways as part of the festival including activities centered around the book.

The whole school took an excursion through Ballarat's war memorials, including the Prisoner of War Memorial, Garden of the Grieving Mother, Arch of Victory and a drive along the Avenue of Honour after reading the book and watching a video about Lucas.

"To be there and see it and spend some time there was really inspiring," said learning specialist, Lana McKay. "It really bought it to life for them. We are very lucky to have it local and to be able to visit the Arch of Victory and longest Avenue of Honour in the southern hemisphere and to have it here in Ballarat in our back yard."

Since the excursion, the students have written recounts, stories, letters, poems and more in preparation for their first Writers Festival and Remembrance Day. The project branched out even further in to their STEAM subjects with senior students creating Minecraft versions of the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour and junior students recreating them in Lego.

Congratulations to Napoleons Primary School on their successful festival, for sharing this story with your school community and educating students on the history of these special Ballarat monuments and those who sacrificed so much for their country.

Read the full story in the Ballarat Courier

You can purchase your own copy of Three Thousand Eight Hundred and One Trees (and each one has a name) at Collins Booksellers Lydiard Street and Collins Booksellers Bridge Mall. All proceeds from the sale of the book goes back to the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour Committee to continue their work.

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