Federal Cadet of the Year 2011

On the weekend of 18th/19th February 2011, the Chairman of the Council of the Australian Air League, the League’s Secretary, the National Staff and the Executive Commissioners had the pleasure, and honour, to spend a Saturday and Sunday with the ‘cream’ of the Australian Air League’s youth membership.

The candidates were:

  • Cpl Mitchell McDonough City of Blacktown New South Wales Boys
  • L/Cdt Megan Aylward City of Blacktown  New South Wales Girls
  • Sqn Sgt Simon Deane Hervey Bay Squadron Queensland Boys
  • Sgt Hanson Wong Doncaster Squadron Victoria Boys


The selection of the Cadet of the Year took place in New South Wales at the Air Activities Centre at Camden airport, in conjunction with the meeting of the Council of the Australian Air League.

Interstate members of the Council of the League, together with the candidates from Queensland and Victoria travelled to Sydney, were met on arrival and transported from the Mascot Airport to Camden to meet up with the New South Wales based members of the Council and the two candidates from the NSW Girls’ and Boys’ Groups. Whilst the Council of the League met the candidates enjoyed a flight over the Sydney’s northern beaches in League owned aircraft. On the return of the flights a BBQ lunch, supplied by the NSW Boys’ Group was enjoyed by all at Camden. During the afternoon the candidates toured the airport including the Gliding operations area.

Later in the day all travelled back to the accommodation at the Narellan Motor Inn where they enjoyed networking prior to dinner, held at the Camden Golf Club. The Chair of the Council of the Australian Air League Inc., the League’s Secretary as well as the National Commissioners and the Executive Commissioners joined them at dinner.

After dinner, a return to the Air Activities base where all candidates made brief presentations to enhance their opportunity to be selected as the League’s Cadet of the Year. All senior Officers including the Executive Commissioners marked these presentations taking into account delivery, confidence and relevance.

On a very hot Sunday, after breakfast, all travelled to Camden Airfield and whilst the four Executive Commissioners met to discuss cooperation between their Groups, the panel including the Chair of the Council, the League’s Secretary and the National Commissioners, conducted the selection process for the 2010/2011 Cadet of Year.

Any of the nominated entries would be able to represent our Organisation with pride and should be very proud of their performance.

The candidates had previously been advised that the assessment, and criteria, for selection as the League’s Cadet of the Year would be as follows:

You must be able to demonstrate a commitment to participate, and assist, in various functions at both a Group and National levels during 2011. This is the ambassadorial role the Air League sees our Cadets of the Year fulfilling. They are our representatives and the League requires their ongoing involvement once the winners have been announced.

To demonstrate this, you will be required to prepare a 10 to 15 minute presentation to be delivered after dinner on Saturday night to the League’s Senior Officers. There will be a laptop, data projector and white board available for your use. We urge you to make use of these tools to assist with your presentation and a power point presentation is required. The content of the presentation should be both verbal and visual and therefore you must speak to the presentation.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability and willingness to act in an ambassadorial capacity; giving evidence of your prior involvement with, your enthusiasm for, and your ongoing plans to leverage from, the League. We ask that you tell us what you perceive the Cadet of the Year to mean and what do you see as the role and responsibility of the successful nominees. It is most important that you address these issues in your presentation.

May I suggest that you practice this in front of others and ask for a critique? Your confidence and ability to speak in public will be observed.

Your knowledge of the AAL and its operation covering Field, Administration, Education, Training and Air Activities.

Your Dress and Bearing, both in uniform and casual attire.

Your personality and ability to mix with others.

Your ability to express yourself and communicate with all ages.

Your behaviour, attitude and manners when attending the Restaurant as a group as well as your behaviour and attitude when left overnight in the Motel under the indirect supervision of Senior Officers.

It was also advised that to be successful a candidate would be required to meet a minimum standard of achievement otherwise the Award will not be made.

After lunch the results were announced in front of the League’s senior Officers and the Cadet of the Year badges were presented to the winning candidates.

The winners were:

  • Leading Cadet Megan Aylward, New South Wales Girls Squadron
  • Sergeant Simon Deane, Queensland Boys

On behalf of the Australian Air League Inc., may I extend hearty congratulations to the winners and commiserations to their colleagues who were unsuccessful. To miss out on selection in such company is no disgrace as those selected were truly outstanding in all aspects and their Parents, Officers and colleagues can be very proud of them.

The League’s thanks go to the New South Wales Boys’ Group Air Activities staff that assisted with the operation over the weekend with catering and provision of and ideal location for this most important event in the League’s calendar.

Chief Comr. Ian Rickards, LM., DSA., MSA
Chief Commissioner



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