VWMA Excellence Award

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The Virtual War Memorial Australia Excellence Award provides young South Australians with the opportunity to conduct exemplary research into the lives of Australian service personnel in World War One and Two.

The award is open to all South Australian students in Years 9 and 10.

History of the award

This prize has been conducted since 2020. Students who are successful are invited to a ceremony to receive their certificate, medal, and meet with dignitaries.

The selection process involves a submission entry, usually conducted via their school.

2024 VWMA Excellence Award

The prize is open to South Australian students in year 9 and 10.

Each school can submit up to two entries. Entries are due by Friday, 6 December 2024 at 5.00pm.

Students can also enter via a community group, such as the Australian Defence Forces cadets. This entry must be submitted through the student's school and can be in addition to the two regular school entries.

Teacher Award

Teachers can be nominated for an award based on their active support and championing of the program within their school and the community.

Entry details

To enter, students are required to submit both a completed profile and biography for the soldier they research.


Worth: 15 marks.

Where information cannot be obtained, the total mark will be reduced to compensate.

Using a range of sources, research the experience of an Australian serviceperson who served during World War One or Two.

1. Fully (where possible), completed the personal details aspect of the profile (2 marks)

2. Added several History Events, such as:

  • Enlistment
  • Embarkation
  • Involvements
  • Transfers (including Taken on Strength (TOS)
  • Wounds/Hospitalisations
  • Promotions
  • Honours and Awards, including Mentions in Dispatches but excluding 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (5 marks)

3. Link documents not available in existing online databases, such as family held certificates (1 mark)

4. Include new photographs that are high quality and are appropriately attributed (referenced) (1 mark)

5. Add a memorial, where possible (1 mark)

6. Add relevant organisations the person was a member of. For example, community groups, Council, professional organisations, agricultural organisations etc. (1 mark)

7. Links should include all sources used, such as National Archives Australia, Trove, Red Cross etc. (2 marks)

8. Relationships, where known, should be added. Most common will be parents or wife (2 marks)

Biography (minimum 300 words)

Worth: 15 marks

Utilising the evidence gathered for the profile as well as other contextual sources, write a biography, recounting the person’s life.

A good biography should include:

  • Aspects of life at the time to provide context
  • Facts and evidence
  • Recount all aspects of the individual’s life, including life before and after war service
  • Have excellent punctuation, spelling, and grammar
  • Include references

A good biography should not:

  • Not recount every fact or instance from the Service Record
  • Be overly emotive or sentimental
  • Add opinion or unsupported claims

How to enter

Entries must be submitted by Friday, 6 December 2024, 5:00pm. Late entries will not be accepted.

To enter, schools need to:

  • read and adhere to the entry conditions
  • have students add to the information to the profile of the soldier they have researched and upload their biography to the soldiers profile. Or email nominated entries to [email protected]


The award ceremony takes place in term one of the following year. Held during the week after school, students, teachers, parents, and dignitaries celebrate the dedication and exemplary efforts of the awardees.

2021 VWMA Award Winners