Training Ship Norfolk, the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) contingent based in Wellington Point, Brisbane chose HMAS Cairns as their destination for this year’s Annual Continuous Training from 29 June to 5 July.
The young cadets were exposed to day-to-day workings of a naval base as part of their visit to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of being of member of the Australian Defence Force.
Navy Cadets is an exciting opportunity for young people to get a first hand experience of what life in the Navy could be like. Teamwork and leadership skills are core components of the cadet youth development program, and are intermixed with adventure and maritime activities.
The week began with a tour of Cairns base, with stops at Fleet Support Unit, Port Services and the Armoury. Talks were given on the different jobs that Navy personnel can be employed in and demonstrations of equipment and its uses which gave the young people a great insight into what their career choices could be like.
Hands on activities in the use of tactical protective gear provided insight into some of the more exciting and physical elements of the job.
Courtney Lowe, who wants to join the Navy after leaving school and holds the cadet rank of Petty Officer, greatly enjoyed the experience.
"I especially liked being able to talk to all the different Navy personnel and seeing everything that the Navy has to offer," she said.
Lessons in cordage and tying knots were followed by boat rides from the team at Port Services, finishing the day with light-hearted fun.
The next few days were spent enjoying other action-packed activities such as a trip to Green Island, tubing down the Mulgrave River, and visits with the Queensland Police learning about the emergency response helicopter and bomb disposal.
Before heading home, the cadets were back at Cairns with a day trip out on HMAS Brunei followed by a barbecue lunch.
The Australian Naval Cadet program fosters mateship and a sense of belonging, where participants make lots of new friends and can learn more about themselves, and their abilities.
Cadet Nicholas Tattersal summed it up in a nutshell.
“We get to do a lot of stuff that no one else in our age group gets to do. It’s like a small family, we have so much fun. It’s great - I love it.”