609 Squadron originally existed as No. 9 Flight of the South Australian Squadron of the Air Training Corps.
CAPTION: Reviewing Officer Squadron Leader (AAFC) Nicolaas Robbertse, with Cadet Sergeant Kyle Roberts (since promoted to cadet flight sergeant).
It occupied various sites around the Adelaide metropolitan and near country areas before moving to Warradale Barracks on Oaklands Road in the early 1990s.
6 Wing Public Affairs Officer Pilot Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig said the aim of 609 Squadron was to foster qualities that would enable cadets to become responsible young adults who would make a valuable contribution to the community.
In the squadron’s Term 4 Newsletter, Cadet Corporal Mitchell Lewis described 609 Squadron’s annual parade as a good opportunity to display the hard work put in by all cadets this year.
“The cadets who took part in the parade showed great professionalism and self-discipline,” she said.
Commanding Officer Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Jeannie Gill thanked all cadets and parents for their fantastic support for both the annual parade and the raffle, which raised $600 for charity.
Squadron Leader (AAFC) Nicolaas Robbertse, the Senior Aviation Officer for Number 6 Wing, was Reviewing Officer for the parade.
In his address to the squadron he said: “To 609 Squadron, I commend you on your dress and drill and I congratulate you all on your individual and collective achievements to reach this significant day”.
“To the young men and women here, let me say this: your presence here today affirms the Australian youth’s commitment to an active involvement in the development of this generation of the young Australian.
“In this, the 75th year of the AAFC, we reflect on our organisation’s history and the achievements of those men and women who have preceded us; those men and women – and their families – who, over three quarters of a century have made a positive contribution to the youth of our great nation.
“I am reminded that many of the AAFC staff and supporters today, like you, undertook their AAFC training at squadrons like 609 throughout Australia.
“Like you, those cadets learnt the art of leadership and the importance of integrity as they worked through the training and development programmes provided by the AAFC.
“They represent our past.
“You represent the future.
“The AAFC and 609 Squadron’s reputation rests firmly on your shoulders.
“Carry this responsibility with pride.
“You have earned the honour with hard work and you will retain it by living the AAFC’s core values.
“Finally, looking around today, it is clear that you are well supported by your families and loved ones.
“To them, on your behalf, I say thank you.
“The truth is that without their love and support, you may not have been able to have been here today.
“It is their ongoing support that will sustain you along the journey ahead.”
At the recent 6 Wing 75th Anniversary Ball, Pilot Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig said that a commitment to youth development is “about making repeated incremental contributions which collectively help to shape the development of a young adult”.
He might have been quoting the motto chosen by the cadets of 609 Squadron: Gutta Cavat Lapidem [and the rest of the expression, non vi sed saepe cadendo] – a drop of water can shape a stone, not by force but by falling often (or more simply, “Persistence will accomplish anything”).