Tuesday 12 April
Student Volunteer Army Sets Sights on Anzac Day
The Student Volunteer Army (SVA) will be rallying Members of Parliament in Wellington today to get backing for the SVA’s
innovative Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day initiative.
Serve for New Z
ealand is about honouring our days of national significance through service.
The concept, where members of the public are encouraged to undertake an act of service or and show neighbourly
compassion on a national holiday, will be piloted this Anzac Day.
That coincides this year with the RNZRSA’s (Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association) centenary.
SVA founder and chair Sam Johnson says Serve for New Zealand is about coming together to do good, not just as a community, but as a nation.
“It’s not just about doing some volunteering on a day, but it is about what is an important day in New Zealand’s
history, how can we shine a light on that and bring more meaning to it,” Johnson says.
He has been contacting the Wellington offices of party leaders and the Speaker of the House to get further support for
the project and has received widespread support from all sides of the house.
“Last week all parliamentary parties came together in the centenary year of the RSA to support a change in the law
around special licences for RNZRSAs. We’re looking forward to parliamentary parties uniting again outside of parliament
in support of Serve For New Zealand,” RNZRSA CEO David Moger said.
Johnson says the concept is grounded in the lessons learned from the earthquakes where people – older and younger, CEOs
and cleaners, from every cultural and religious background came together. “
The Student Army have partnered with the RNZRSA as they see a real importance is learning from veterans.
Johnson says “The student army is about learning from those who are different from us; we want students to know what is
outside the University. We want to listen to what’s really going on in New Zealand and in people’s lives.”
The Serve for New Zealand concept had widened in the last couple of months to days of national significance. The project could now probably
encompass other days of recognition and an education campaign around Parihaka Day, and especially to highlight the day
we commemorate women’s suffrage and Kate Sheppard.