Remembrance Day: St John Paul II College students make human poppy

Large display: Planning for the large poppy took several months, with it taking 30 minutes to get all the students assembled. Photo: Supplied

Large display: Planning for the large poppy took several months, with it taking 30 minutes to get all the students assembled. Photo: Supplied

It may have been the largest poppy seen in Canberra, but there wasn’t a flower in sight.

Almost 600 students from St John Paul II College in Nicholls have come together to form a giant human poppy as part of Remembrance Day commemorations.

The students’ efforts, which were captured in time-lapse footage filmed with a drone, took several months of preparation to get the design the right.

In the end, it took more than half an hour for the hundreds of students to assemble on the school’s oval in the shape of the poppy as a mark of respect.

The school’s defence transition mentor Vicki Walsh said the large human poppy was a unique way to honour Australian troops who have died in service, as well as ones still serving overseas.

“We were trying to do something different, and ultimately the message was that this is a time to acknowledge defence personnel both past and present,” she said.

“The human poppy was in lieu of a Remembrance Day ceremony,. but we will still hold a minute of silence.”

The large poppy and Remembrance Day commemorations have a special significance within the school community, with more than 10 per cent of students coming from a defence family.

"Gungahlin is one of the main hub for defence families,” Ms Walsh said.

“We’re still in the middle of the centennial for World War I and there is a lot more awareness now, and we need to capitalise on younger generations being interested in our military history.”

Ms Walsh said despite the large amounts of students creating the display, it was a solemn occasion.

“It was in lieu of a ceremony, so it was a solemn and respectful occasion,” she said.

Footage of the poppy coming together was posted on Facebook, and has since been watched more than 5000 times.

Ms Walsh said the school community has been blown away by the online response.

“It was a lovely way to show respect,” she said.

“We’ve been really thrilled with the result.

“We’re doing something as a community to try and acknowledge what our defence families, both past and present, have done and continue to do.”

It’s expected the human poppy will only be a one-off occurrence.