Ambassadors to France

Emma Kane.
Emma Kane.
Three southern secondary school pupils will travel to France next month, where they will attend World War 1 commemorations as New Zealand's young ambassadors.

Ailish Wallace-Buckland, of Columba College, Harriet Keown, of St Hilda's Collegiate School, and Emma Kane, of Central Southland College, are among 11 pupils from across the country who have family links to the Great War and will explore war sites between July 11 and 26.

Ailish Wallace-Buckland.
Ailish Wallace-Buckland.
They will visit the sites where New Zealand soldiers made a significant contribution to the war, including the Somme battlefields, Longueval and the New Zealand memorial, the Caterpillar-Valley cemetery, Le Quesnoy, and Arras, where they will stay with French host families.

Some pupils will have the chance of visiting the memorial of an ancestor who fell in France.

The young ambassadors have been invited to attend a function in their honour at the French Ministry of Education in Paris, and on Bastille Day they will watch the military parade on the Champs Elysees and the tribute ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.

Harriet Keown.
Harriet Keown.
The commemorations provide an opportunity for the New Zealand pupils to explore a major part of their shared history with their French counterparts.

The Young Ambassadors programme is part of a school exchange programme called Shared Histories, which is run by the French embassy in New Zealand and the New Zealand Association of French Teachers.

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