For two years running the Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust has organised an essay competition for secondary school students. Given the prominence of the Anzac centenary in both schools and society, the Trust believes that alternative perspectives on Anzac memorial activities are very important. The pacifist view of Archibald Baxter merits recognition and discussion.

The judging of the 2015 Essay competition is complete. The trust would like to thank everyone who entered.

Senior Section Winners

The topic for the senior section was: “The most patriotic thing you can do for your country is to keep it out of war”. Congratulations to all students who participated, and especially to the four winners below

Junior Section winners:

We had some great entries in our junior section, the topic of which was "All wars are atrocious and no was can be called just". Again, a huge thank you to all participants, and we hope you enjoy reading the winning entries

2015 Essay Competition

  • The secondary school essay competition run by the Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust is in its second year, and prizes will be awarded at the trusts annual peace lecture to be held on Monday 21 September, designated by the United Nations as World Peace Day. Details will be sent to prize winners.At a time when the First World War is being commemorated in what seems like exhaustive detail, it is important that all sides of the story are told. We hope that history teachers and librarians, as well as other interested staff, will assist students to enter the competition.

    The essays in each section should be set against a backdrop of New Zealand history.

    Junior Title: All wars are deeply atrocious and no war can be called just.
    (Archibald Baxter)
    Senior Title: The most patriotic thing you can do for your country is to keep it out of war.

    Essay rules

    The competition is open to all secondary and area schools in Otago.
    There are two age groups: junior (years 9, 10, 11) and senior (years 12 and 13).
    Individuals schools are allowed to submit up to three essays in each age group.
    Junior essays should be approximately 1000 words in length, and printed on A4 paper, 1 line spaced, 12 point, Times Roman font.
    Senior essays should be approximately 1500 words in length, and printed on A4 paper, 1 line spaced, 12 point, Times Roman font.
    Submissions via email attachment must be in .pdf format only.
    Email submissions should be sent to Alan Jackson, secretary of the Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust, at
    Each essay must include the name of the student, their email address, cell phone number, the appropriate age group, the name and email address of the supervising staff member involved, and the name of the school. These details should appear at the end of the essay.
    Three cash prizes will be awarded in each age group$150 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for thirdalong with two books by noted historians (King and Country Call by Paul Baker and Field Punishment No 1 by David Grant).
    The competition closes at the end of Term 2 (3 July).
    Judging will be completed by Sunday 23 August.
    The prize-winning students will be advised by email no later than Friday 4 September.
    Awards will be presented at the trusts annual peace lecture to be held at the University of Otago on Monday 21 September. Full details will be sent to winners.
    The winning essays will be published on the trusts website.
    The decision of the judges will be final.
    Judging will be carried out by a panel of three trustees: Dr Paul Sorrell (Dunedin), Penny Griffith (Wellington) and David Grant (Wellington). The convenor of the judges and adjudicator in the event of any ties is Alan Jackson (Dunedin).

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maire leadbeater peace lecture 2018


Maire Leadbeater is a peace activist historian who blah blah