The government has announced it will invest more than $1billion to upgrade 73 Australian Defence Force Reserve and Cadet facilities across Australia over the next 10 years.
FILE PHOTO (2018): An Australian Air Force Cadets promotion courses end of course parade at RAAF Base Edinburgh. Photo by Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig.
Over the next year, $53million in infrastructure upgrades to 18 cadet facilities, including in rural and remote communities will commence.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the infrastructure investment would support the growth of the ADF Cadets by 10 per cent over the next year, and was just one component of a number of initiatives being implemented to enhance the cadet program.
“We want to provide improved opportunities for cadets through a number of avenues, including better facilities, enhanced experiences, mentoring and relevant skilling,” Minister Dutton said.
As part of this enhancement of the cadets program, General (ret’d) Sir Peter Cosgrove will become the first Patron of the ADF Cadets.
Minister Dutton said that, being a former cadet himself, Sir Peter would bring strong values, experience and mentorship to current and future cadets.
He also said Defence would increase numbers in existing cadet units and create new units to complement broader government initiatives supporting youth development and skilling.
“In addition to the more traditional skills developed through the program, future cadets will also be engaged in STEM-focused activities including cyber security, virtual-reality simulation, robotics and flight simulation.
“The program will focus on growing cadet and volunteer numbers, and establishing new units in rural and remote areas, including in Indigenous communities.
“To ensure enduring local unit success, additional personnel including veterans and reservists will be employed to provide administrative support.
“The investment in facility upgrades will also provide opportunities for Australian industry including local and Indigenous suppliers and contractors.”
Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie said that, as a former cadet himself, he knew first-hand that cadets provide young Australians with opportunities to lead, grow and serve our country.
“It is a vital part of Defence’s contribution to building Australia’s future leaders,” Minister Hastie said.
“These important announcements will help strengthen the future of cadets, and ensures that we grow the cadet program in the critical years ahead.”
Find out more about ADF Cadets here.