Published on: 24 October 2014

Christ Church has now won two of the three major national history competitions in 2014. James Blaxill (Year 10) won his age division in the National History Challenge as well as claiming the State prizes in his special category and age division.

Earlier this year, Jack Annear (Year 10) was the top performer in his age group in the Australian History Competition.

The National History Challenge encourages students to use research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past. Students can investigate their community, study their family’s past or explore ideas throughout history. It encourages the use of primary and secondary sources and offers various presentation formats catering to individual learning styles.

Head of History Richard Parker said the challenge was a way of extending top Year 10 students with 25 boys completing an individual research essay for possible entry into the competition. James was among six boys whose essays were selected by their teacher to be entered in the State competition.

This year’s theme was Changing Perspectives and all entries had to incorporate a response to the theme through one of nine special categories. James chose ‘Using primary sources from the National Archives’ and completed his essay on the subject of internment camps in Australia during World War II.

James said he recently learnt of the internment camp at Rottnest Island and had decided to broaden his essay to a focus on camps in Australia. “I looked at the change in perspective of people towards certain Europeans living in Australia, and the hatred towards them because of the war,” he said.

“I used the National Archives website to scan articles and reports to find out about the conditions of the internment camps and what internees were subjected to. I enjoyed researching the essay and seeing what people had written about it at the time.”

James will attend an award presentation ceremony, hosted by the Federal Minister for Education Christopher Pyne, at Parliament House in Canberra in December.