By MARTIN GRANT
President, Unit Support Committee,
Australian Navy Cadet Unit, TS ORION
I WOULD like to update the local community on what the unit has been able to achieve in the last 12 months, the issues currently facing the Unit Support Committee (USC) and some of the committee's plans for the future.
Firstly some background on what Australian Navy Cadets is all about. Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) is a youth development organisation co-sponsored by the Department of Defence and the community. There are 90 cadet units nationwide with 3000 cadets and 500 staff.
Adventure and fun are the cornerstones of cadet activities and the Navy has overall responsibility for the efficient management of the cadet units' safety. Navy Cadets provides opportunities for young Australians between 13 and 20 years of age to extend themselves, achieve personal growth, enhance self esteem and self discipline, and undertake adventurous enjoyment in a safe, supervised maritime setting. Training activities include, but are not restricted to:
a. Courses in leadership, management and life skills.
b. Parade drill and ceremonial training, uniform care and maintenance.
c. Naval history and traditions.
d. Opportunities to attend international camps and activities.
e. Adventurous training, camps and expeditions.
f. Sailing and power boating, navigation, first aid and safety awareness.
g. Weapons awareness and shooting.
2013 was a very busy year for TS ORION. It all started with the unit recognition parade at the Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Oval in April. This parade was the official recognition by the Australian Navy Cadet Division that the local Snowy Mountains cadet unit was no longer a new training ship (NTS) but could stand alone as a cadet unit called TS Orion. The importance of this parade was highlighted by the number and the rank of the many dignitaries that attended.
In October 2013 a number of cadets were selected to attend the Royal Australian Navy - International Fleet Review (celebrating 100 years of the RAN) in Sydney. Three TS ORION cadets were chosen out of 3,000 navy cadets Australia wide to participate in the official activities over 12 days. One cadet and one officer were chosen to also participate in the International Fleet Review by being part of the tall ships' journey from Tasmania to Sydney, including the official entrance into Sydney Harbour with numerous international and Australian Navy vessels, along with their Fleet Air Arm. Four other cadets and one officer joined the TS CANBERRA cadet unit to participate in a "Join the Journey" of the RAN-IFR. This was an opportunity of a lifetime for these cadets.
Our cadets also attended several weekend postings and two annual continuous training camps which see cadets and officers participate in activities from cooking through to sailing with other cadets from around Australia.
In addition, the unit ran several sailing days during which the cadets enjoyed having their sailing and power boats on Lake Jindabyne, improving their sailing and power boating skills and having heaps of fun.
In the community, the cadets participated in NAIDOC celebrations, Anzac Day ceremonies, Remembrance Day ceremonies, the Lions Club Christmas lunch and the Sport and Recreation Open Day.
The Unit Support Committee role is to provide moral, financial and administrative support for the unit staff. When the unit was first formed it was financially supported by the director of Australian Navy Cadets to get the unit up and running. This financial support finished at the end of August 2013. What this means to the USC is that we now have to finance "activities and facility running costs" ourselves. However, the Australian Navy Cadets does continue to support the cadets and officers by supplying "equipment" such as: uniforms, boats, and buses to transport our cadets to the various Australian Navy Cadet events.
Last December the committee held its first major fund raising event, the Christmas Hamper Raffle, which was drawn at the Jindabyne Carols by Candlelight. I would like to thank the community for their support in this event; it was a huge success for the unit. I would also like to thank the following businesses and organisations for their financial support over the year - Snowy River RSL Sub- Branch, Berridale RSL Sub Branch, Perisher Resort, Jindabyne Bush Pigs Rugby Union Club, Jindabyne Anzac Day Organising Committee.
Also, our committee has designed and developed a "Snowy Mountains" bumper sticker which we have been selling for $2 at many local businesses around Jindabyne. Next time you are in Jindabyne Mitre 10 or Jindabyne Sport and Recreation check out the bumper sticker and purchase one.
Currently the cadet unit facilities operate from Lodge 5 at Sport and Recreation, Jindabyne which is under a commercial lease agreement. This means we need to finance this agreement by raising funds so the cost can be kept to a minimum for the cadets.
We have made several applications for development grants, but to date these have been unsuccessful. The USC will continue to look for opportunities to help fund the annual lease arrangement we have with Jindabyne Sport and Recreation. The USC is also seeking other facility options as this current facility is quickly becoming too small as the number of cadets and officers increase.
The Unit Support Committee looks forward to working with the community to ensure the Navy Cadet Unit TS ORION continues to provide development opportunities for the youth in the Snowy Mountains region.