First issued to the Australian Air Force Cadets three years ago, the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award’s National Award Unit Licence Agreement has now been renewed for another three years, demonstrating that the relationship between the two youth development organisations remains as strong as ever.
“The licence re-signed on 03 April will enable us to continue having a single, consistent, cost-effective and national approach to our involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, leading to more efficient outcomes for all involved,” said Wing Commander (AAFC) Tim Lowther, Director of Operations for the Australian Air Force Cadets.
“Although we’ve been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for more than 30 years, the licence agreement signed three years ago, has greatly improved coordination between our two organisations, as well as delivered cost savings which in turn have benefited our members.”
“Since founded in 1956, more than eight million people in over 140 countries and territories, including about 775,000 Australians, have participated in the Award, which 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.
At present, nearly 40,000 young Australians are undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, including a record 948 active participants across all three Award levels in the Australian Air Force Cadets.
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.
Both leaders agreed there was a good fit between the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and the Australian Air Force Cadets.
“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.”
“The Australian Air Force Cadets is one of the most dynamic, effective and satisfying youth programs available, and is open to young people from age 13, with many of the Award’s requirements achievable through regular involvement and commitment within our programs,” said Wing Commander (AAFC) Lowther.
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.
Importantly, Air Force Cadets receive tertiary-level training in leadership, decision-making, initiative, self-discipline, time-management, clear thinking, public speaking, management and administration while in their teens and long before they enter the workforce, making them very attractive to potential employers.
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,” said Wing Commander (AAFC) Lowther.