New army cadet unit builds youngsters’ life skills

Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
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.
Camera IconChloe Willis and David Scorer, both 16, and Daniel Donnelly, 13, are enrolled in the Australian Army Cadets program, which was recently established in Broome. Credit: 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 co-ordinated 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.

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