New army cadet unit builds young­sters’ life skills

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

Lo­cal teenagers are set to learn in­valu­able lessons in team­work, lead­er­ship and dis­ci­pline as the long wait for a vi­tal youth or­gan­i­sa­tion in the re­gion fi­nally comes to an end.

Af­ter strong de­mand across the Kim­ber­ley, Aus­tralian Army Cadets launched a new Broome unit for youth aged be­tween 13 and 17 last month, based at the North West Mo­bile Force.

The pro­gram will train par­tic­i­pants by rolling out ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing us­ing ser­vice firearms and learn­ing first aid, ab­seil­ing and nav­i­ga­tion.

NORFORCE com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Ma­jor Chris McGlashan said army cadets was “years in the mak­ing” for the town and was well timed to fill the void left by the loss of the Broome Scouts Group.

“Broome has had navy cadets for a num­ber of years, but while this ap­pealed to some, not all kids were be­ing catered for,” he said. Un­til last year there was a lack of co­or­di­nated ef­fort around the re­gion to get army cadets.

“But we now have sup­port from across the Kim­ber­ley and ac­knowl­edge­ment that start­ing in Broome, then seek­ing to ex­pand was the log­i­cal way to do it.”

Af­ter a re­cruit­ment night on March 9, 19 of 30 funded po­si­tions were taken in the pro­gram, with five more spots taken up since.

Ma­jor McGlashan said he was pleased with the num­ber of en­rol­ments in the pro­gram, which he be­lieved would ben­e­fit all those who joined.

“The more cadets there are, the bet­ter train­ing can be,” he said. “Team­work is a cen­tral tenet of cadets, so strong num­bers is a good thing and I think army cadets head­quar­ters were some­what sur­prised how quickly it has taken off. Cadets is a great way for kids to learn the val­ues of courage, ini­tia­tive, team­work and re­spect in a safe and fun set­ting.

“Through pro­grams like this, the Aus­tralian De­fence Force gets to give some­thing back to the com­mu­nity and de­velop our chil­dren into con­fi­dent, self-dis­ci­plined and over­all bet­ter adults.”

As the pro­gram is stan­dard­ised na­tion­wide, par­tic­i­pants will un­dergo the same ac­tiv­i­ties as 19,000 other young adults in 237 units across the coun­try.

Chloe Wil­lis and David Scorer, both 16, and Daniel Don­nelly, 13, are en­rolled in the Aus­tralian Army Cadets pro­gram, which was re­cently es­tab­lished in Broome.

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