TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE AAFC FAMILY
I am so looking forward to taking a break from the hectic schedule of recent months (so that I can relax and put my feet up) and I am sure I am not alone in anticipating a slower and more relaxed life style over the holiday season. The reality appears to be that while technology was supposed to make life easier for us all it seems to have simply made everyone busier and busier because we are never more than a mobile call away from more work being foisted on us and, of course, it would be almost a crime to be more than inches away from our mobiles.
There are many reasons why we in the AAFC are so busy. The cadets love to participate in activities and the staff are committed to giving them a great experience as often as possible. It is also the case that our numbers are better than they have been for some years and this is likely to grow in 2014: the reality is that the more cadets we have the busier we are. Of course, there is also the dreaded “governance” – monthly FaR reporting, safety meetings and reports, financial audits, and involvement with surveys to name a few: I can understand it when staff say to me that they are left little time to actually spend with cadets.
However, in the midst of all this hectic activity there are moments of great reward. The solemnity of ANZAC Day and the part the AAFC plays in so many activities on that important day. The opportunity to share with a cadet the thrill and excitement of his/her first solo flight, sharing the pride of parents and the community at graduation parades as the cadets show off their achievements on the drill square, seeing the excitement of young people who have learned that they have been accepted into the Defence Force Academy or the ADF and watching the competitiveness and camaraderie of cadets at National competitions. These are the moments that make the commitment all worthwhile and they are all moments that I have enjoyed during this past twelve months.
So, we all deserve a good break: time to spend with friends and family, time to be re-energised, time to forget the “governance”, time to “chill out” and time to “throw another prawn on the barbie”. I want to thank all those involved with the AAFC (cadets, staff, parents and other supporters) for their continued involvement this past year – we can be rightly proud of being a part of the AAFC family. To you and yours, may you have a relaxing, happy and safe Christmas and come back to us in 2014. My challenge for 2014 is simple – let’s have 7000 cadets, a number we have not had in years. I look to each of you to play a part in achieving that goal. Enjoy the break.
Commander – AAFC
16 Dec 13