Camberwell High in Melbourne welcomed a naval officer to their annual awards evening recently, to help recognise the efforts of one of their students.
During their 2015 Valedictory Evening, Lieutenant Ben Willee was on hand to present an Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership award to student, Paul Trinh.
Lieutenant Willee spoke of the importance of celebrating leadership qualities.
“The ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Awards recognise and celebrate qualities such as leadership, teamwork, reliability, mateship and integrity to name but a few," he said.
"Each service that makes up the Australian Defence Force places great importance on these qualities.
"In fact the servicemen and women of this nation are expected to demonstrate these qualities every day.
"It is these very qualities that have been key to the development of this nation’s character and identity.”
The awards are an important initiative by the Australian Government, in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force, designed to encourage senior students - tomorrow’s leaders - to actively participate in the life of their schools and local communities.
Mr Trinh clearly demonstrated the qualities associated with this award of leadership, teamwork, reliability, mateship and integrity.
“I am honoured to receive this award, and thank you to the Australian Defence Force and the Navy,” he said.
Lieutenant Willee grew up not far from Camberwell High and said it was a great honour to return to his old stamping ground and meet some of the future leaders of this country.
"Paul is a fantastic young bloke and I was delighted to be able to represent the Australian Defence Force and recognise his achievements. “
Camberwell High Principal Jill Laughlin thanked Lieutenant Willee for presenting the award.
“It’s fantastic the Australian Defence Force gets out into the community and having someone in uniform demonstrates their commitment to this program."
The Battle of Long Tan holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Australians. In recognition of one of the defining moments in Australian military history, in August 2006 the Prime Minister announced that it would be fitting to name the awards the ‘ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Awards’. It is also a fitting tribute to Long Tan veterans, as the very traits they demonstrated such as determination, mateship, teamwork, tenacity, compassion and leadership, are the same attributes we hope to encourage and recognise in students.