The ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Awards program is looking for volunteers from Navy to present awards to school students. Award ceremonies will be conducted throughout Australia from September 2014 through to February 2015.
The Navy point of contact for the Long Tan Awards is Warrant Officer Rob Drew, who said the awards provide an excellent vehicle for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to foster and recognise the ideals of service, teamwork, leadership, loyalty and integrity in our youth.
“The Long Tan Awards aim to present the ADF as an organisation that shares its values with the wider community. Some of the most important values that we would like to promote fit very well within the youth of our society. I’m talking about doing ones best, helping others, perseverance, tenacity and mateship. These were values clearly displayed by Long Tan veterans under extremely challenging conditions during the battle of Long Tan in August 1966, and they continue to be upheld by the ADF today,” said Warrant Officer Drew.
The Long Tan Award program also forms part of the wider strategy of engaging pre-enlistment age school students with a view of raising the profile of Defence as a potential employer.
More than 2750 secondary schools students in Years 10 or 12 are invited to participate in the awards which usually result in the receipt of in excess of 2300 nominations.
Most participating schools request an ADF member present the award, however many schools frequently miss out on such an opportunity, hence the ongoing need for additional volunteers. Last year, ADF members conducted 757 Long Tan Award ceremonies of which Navy personnel (from Seaman to Commodore rank) voluntarily participated in 413.
“Ideally, volunteers would be serving members with children attending or who have a past connection with a requesting school,” said Warrant Officer Drew.
“However, this is not essential - the aim is to provide a military presenter to each requesting school. Volunteers are able to select their preferred school.”
Where possible, volunteers should come from the region involved as no travel funding is available, though it is expected some travel may be required. Ships with planned port visits which align to school award presentation dates are encouraged to participate as are personnel who may be on leave or duty in a requesting school locality on the date of the award presentation. Volunteers should be aware that they may be asked to make a short speech - the website contains a speech for use when this is requested.
To become a volunteer, members are required to log on at http://www.adflongtanawards.gov.au/volunteer. Members are advised to frequently review the list of schools seeking presenters as schools will constantly be added to the website as award dates are confirmed (up to December 2014).