View all news

Bringing ANZAC education to the next generation


Jessica Nelson
23 April 2019

Before embarking on a teaching career through Southern Cross University, Brett Murphy served more than seven years including three deployments with the Royal Australian Air Force.

This ANZAC Day Brett will attend a small town dawn service while on a camping and surfing holiday with other veterans and their families. He says the annual holiday is about reflecting on what servicemen and women have done to keep this nation great and its people free.

“ANZAC Day can mean different things to different people, depending on whether it’s impacted them or someone they know personally,” he said.

“For me, my great grandfather fought in the British Army alongside the ANZACs in both world wars, and I also spend time reflecting on the mates I fought alongside overseas, so we can live freely in this country.”

While serving in ground combat in the Air Force, Brett had two war zone deployments to the Middle East alongside the US Military and one for humanitarian work in the Philippines following Cyclone Yolanda.

“Before you head overseas to go into a war zone you know what to expect and you have the training for any situation, but you also know you have your mates alongside you who have your back at every moment,” he said.

Brett moved to the Gold Coast from Amberley with a mate in 2015 to study the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Southern Cross University and joined the Association of Veteran Surfers (AVS), founded by fellow Southern Cross student and army veteran Matthew Hoare.

“AVS brings together veterans who like to get out in the surf and who want to get together and support each other, which is important when you return to civilian life after serving,” he said.

“Life is a different pace compared to the military now balancing studying, working at a local surf shop and taking time to enjoy the beach and working out.”

Brett says he is looking forward to teaching high school students about the importance of World History as well as Physical Education.

“I’m fascinated by Aussie history and the endurance of the ANZACS and other events that have shaped the nation and the world we live in and I’m excited to pass on that knowledge. I’m also keen to help students to enjoy sports and recreation and get out on the sporting field with them, which is hopefully a passion they can also carry into their adult lives.”