Chief Commissioner Ian Rickards was surprised and visibly pleased to receive his Bar to the DSA Medal from the 2015 Cadets of the Year at a special presentation ceremony during the Victoria Group Review on 4th October. The Bar to a Distinguished Service Award is the highest award for service and was granted by the Council of the Air League in recognition of Mr Rickards’ long and outstanding commitment to the organisation for over 40 years.
In February 2015 Chief Comr. Rickards presented awards in NSW to the top male and female cadet for 2015, both from the Victoria Group. However, Cpl Benjamin Tam and Cpl Rebecca Newbery never expected the awards process would be reversed in their term of duty as leaders of the Cadet of the Year Advisory Group. Federal Training Commissioner Tom Short said afterwards, ‘This occasion was a historic event for the Air League because the DSA Bar has never been presented before, and it was the first time Cadet of the Year winners have been invited to present such a prestigious award. It was an occasion everyone will remember for some time’.
With almost perfect weather, the Victorian Review was further enhanced by a large contingent of cadets and officers from the South Australian Wing. SA cadets took part in a number of competitions and picked-up several awards. To mark the occasion, South Australia’s Cadet of the Year, Cpl Daniel Oliver was also invited to join the DSA presentation party.