Students at a southern suburbs school have found a unique way to pay their respects to local veterans, showcasing an artistic display with a special ‘Portrait of a Veteran’ project.
Comet Bay College is behind the project, which aims to challenge perceptions of veterans by showing the diverse range of people who have served, and are still serving, in the army, navy and air force.
Project coordinator and Defence Transition Mentor, Claire Hunt, said the portraits captured the many different faces of veterans.
“We invited students and local artists to paint the portraits of 20 inspiring veterans – men and women, young and old and from various cultural backgrounds,” said Ms Hunt.
“More than 40 people took part and will display the stunning collection of framed portraits at our ANZAC Day Service on 28 April, which will be officially opened by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson.”
The portraits may be auctioned later in the year, with all proceeds going to a not-for-profit organisation that supports local veterans.
More than 60 students at the college are part of Australian Defence Force families. They and their families are supported by the college’s Defence Transition Mentor program.
Ms Hunt said the program provided services and resources for students and helped with the transition between schools and education systems when military families moved.
“It is an absolute honour to hold the Defence Transition Mentor position at Comet Bay College. I have met the most friendly, resilient and inspiring students and families over the last eight years – many of whom I still remain friends with even after their children have graduated,” said Ms Hunt.
Testament to the college’s commitment to honouring veterans, it also has its own museum. Community members are welcome to visit the museum to learn more about military history and follow the stories of local veterans and their ancestors.