A historic National Award Unit Licence Agreement signed today between the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and the Australian Air Force Cadets is set to benefit both organisations and the youth of the nation.
“This licence will enable the Air Force Cadets to have a single, consistent, cost-effective and national approach to its involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, leading to more efficient outcomes for all involved,” said Group Captain (AAFC) Greg Williamson, National Commander of the Australian Air Force Cadets.
“Although we’ve been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for more than 30 years, there has been some disparity between operations in each of the States. Today’s agreement will greatly improve coordination between our two organisations as well as deliver cost savings which in turn will benefit our members.”
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award encourages and recognises practical experiences and life skills to create committed global citizens and help equip young people for life,” said Peter Kaye AM, Chief Executive Officer for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Australia.
“Since founded in 1956, more than eight million people in over 140 countries and territories have participated in the Award.
Both leaders agreed there was a good fit between the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and the Australian Air Force Cadets.
“At present, nearly 40,000 young Australians are undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, including a record 937 Australian Air Force Cadets,” said Group Captain (AAFC) Greg Williamson.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a leading youth development program, empowering young Australians aged 14-25 to explore their full potential, regardless of location or circumstance.
“Each participant learns a skill, improves their physical wellbeing, volunteers in their community and goes on an adventure,” said Peter Kaye.
“Through a challenging journey of self-discovery, participants are equipped and empowered to achieve their personal best, learn to take responsibility for goals and choices, make real contributions to their community, learn important life skills, overcome barriers to success, and increase career opportunities.”
“Likewise, the Australian Air Force Cadets is one of the most dynamic, effective and satisfying youth programs available, and is open to young people aged 13-20 years,” said Group Captain (AAFC) Greg Williamson.
“Air Force Cadets get to do the things that most other young people only watch on television, including learning to fly aircraft solo while still in their mid-teens, using civilian and military rifles, going bush wearing camouflage uniform, operating military radios, using field signals, learning cooking and survival skills; as well as enjoying interstate and international travel. They also study aeronautics, navigation, meteorology and radio communications, first aid and music.”
Involvement in the Air Force Cadets can generate credits for the Year 12 Certificate of Education. Cadets may also undertake three weeks per year full-time tertiary-level training in leadership, decision-making, initiative, self-discipline, time-management, clear thinking, public speaking, management and administration that will qualify them for a TAFE Certificate III in Business Management.
Group Captain (AAFC) Williamson said about 70 per cent of current Australian Air Force personnel developed their interest in aviation as Cadets, and many public figures ignited their involvement in community affairs through service in the Air Force Cadets, which continues to be fully supported by the Royal Australian Air Force.
“In partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, the Australian Air Force Cadets is a real game-changer for Australia, giving young people autonomy, responsibility, skills and courage so they can effectively help lead Australia in every facet of government, business and community life, well into the 21st Century.”