Young Belgians connect to Queensland's WWI history at Fort Lytton
15 February 2018
A group of Belgian students is visiting Fort Lytton National Park, near the mouth of the Brisbane River, on Friday evening 16 February to honour the Anzacs who fought and died in their homeland 100 years ago.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will host the 12 students and two teachers at the park, as they attend a special performance of Fort Lytton at Night – A Lost Story from the Great War.
QPWS Ranger Daley Donnelly said the theatre piece had been created to commemorate Anzac 100 and bring the heritage site to life in an innovative way.
“It’s an ideal way for people to gain an insight into the role played by Australians, particularly Queenslanders, in the Great War,” Mr Donnelly said.
“The students aged around 15 are from Athena Campus Pottelberg, a school in Kortrijk, 30km from Ypres.
“This is the third visit to Australia by a group from the high school as part of the ANZAC Centenary School Link Program.
“This year’s group is including Fort Lytton National Park in their trip, recognising it as a significant site for learning about Australians who fought and died in Belgium.”
Mr Donnelly said teacher Mariska Tytgat, who organised the visit, had seen online information about Fort Lytton and contacted the Fort Lytton Historical Association to arrange a tour during their brief stay in Brisbane.
“Our special presentation for the students and teachers will be a promenade performance incorporating theatre-in-education techniques. This will allow the students, who speak Flemish, time to interact with the performers and better understand the experience of war for Australians.”
Mr Donnelly said as well as regular performances of Fort Lytton at Night – A Lost Story from the Great War, the park also provided a theatre-in-education program designed for school students, Returned WWI.
“We feel very honoured that young people from so far away have raised funds to visit Australia and have chosen to include our heritage site,” he said.
“We hope to reward their efforts with a true cultural exchange.”