Youth leadership awards present inspiration

Published on SBLT James Tew (author), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): Cairns, Queensland

Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Michelle Cannon watches the sun set over the sea from the bridge wing of HMAS Wollongong.  (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Michelle Cannon watches the sun set over the sea from the bridge wing of HMAS Wollongong.

In far north Queensland, permanent and reserve members from HMAS Cairns have again put in a massive effort to cover the growing number of Long Tan Award requests from regional schools.
 
Since 2006, the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Awards have recognised students who demonstrate leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader local community.
 
Navy volunteer presenters travelled as far afield as Cooktown (twice), Mossman, Dimbulah and Tully to present at school presentations.
 
Chief Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Michelle Cannon of HMAS Cairns gave a particularly inspirational address to the Dimbulah State High School as part of her presentation of a Long Tan Award.
 
Following Chief Petty Officer Cannon's speech, she was surrounded by teachers and past students curious about her personal experiences and career in the Navy.
 
"It was an extremely rewarding experience to get out into the community and speak about all the great opportunities that Navy has to offer," Chief Petty Officer Cannon said.
 
As a direct result of Chief Petty Officer Cannon's attendance at Dimbulah State High School for the Awards the school requested to and will be attending Cairns for a visit of the base.
 
A number of students were so inspired by the tales of Chief Petty Officer Cannon's personal experiences that they have begun to enquire further into the career possibilities with Navy.
 
In total, Cairns volunteers attended 25 schools with a number of personnel covering more than one school presentation.

The continued involvement of Navy personnel in this volunteer program is in the true spirit of Long Tan, a spirit that remains strong in the Navy today.