IT ONLY took Jesse Stevens 30 minutes to decide what to paint and now he’s heading to Singapore because of it.
Over one recess, Jesse and P-12 teacher Rowena Morris came up with an idea for a painting to be submitted to the Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize.
In 2017, the then Year 9 student submitted a piece (pictured) that illustrated the impact of war upon farming families.
And it was an idea which got him into a group of 22 finalists from around Australia, heading off for a study tour to Darwin and Singapore in April.
It was personal for Jesse, whose grandfather had returned from war and was unable to continue working the family farm.
“The family sold the farm and stayed in the New South Wales-Queensland area, but my grandpa shifted down to Melbourne to live,” Jesse said.
So while he already had a painting, he decided to start another in his own time.
“I had already completed a piece but I did another because it was more relevant to be entered,” he said.
Jesse’s interest in war started about five years ago after he completed a project in Grade 5.
“I was researching the war of Beersheba. It’s one of my favourites and it sort of went from there,” he said.
And while the final trip itinerary isn’t confirmed yet, Jesse now has the opportunity to see firsthand the sites where Australians served.
“I’m really looking forward to the trip; we’ll be taking part in some ceremonies and going on tours around the area,” he said.
“And I want to thank Mrs Morris, she helped me decide what to paint.”
Mrs Morris said she couldn’t have been more proud of Jesse.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for Jesse and it’s a wonderful reflection of the passion, talent and effort he put into his amazing competition entry,” Mrs Morris said.
Jesse will be heading off in April, with the final travel dates to be confirmed.