Cadet of the Year 2017 / 2018

Over the recent weekend of 17th/18th February 2018, at the NSW Boys’ Group Air Activities Centre at Camden, NSW the annual selection of the League’s Cadet of the Year (COY) took place.

Unfortunately this year there were no female candidates in the selection process however we are confident that there will be candidates nominated next year.

The male candidates for this year’s consideration were:

Name Rank Squadron
NSW Boys Darby THOMPSON Sgt. Sutherland Shire
Queensland Rhys SHARP L/Cdt Bundaberg
South Australia James SOAR Sqn.Sgt. Gawler Airfield
Victoria Troy NORTON Sqn.Sgt. Berwick

Sqn.Capt. Kyle Laing – Assistant to the Federal Training Commissioner and himself a COY winner in 2006 when he was a Sergeant, ably assisted in the planning of the weekend and hosted, and mentored, the candidates throughout the weekend collecting them from Mascot Airport on Saturday morning for a visit to the sites of Sydney including the Maritime Museum as well as enjoying a ferry trip on Sydney Harbour and visiting the Opera House and other sites.

After the COY candidates returned to the Narellan Motor Inn, the ‘cream’ of the Australian Air League’s youth membership travelled to the Camden Civic Centre’s Ferguson Gallery where they were joined by the League’s Public Officer, the League’s Minute Secretary, Federal Staff and the Group Executive Commissioners for networking and dinner. This year we invited two ladies involved in aviation to join us.  They were:

  • Lea Veasic, who is the Administration Officer of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, holder of a CPL and is almost through an instructor rating at Camden. Lea is a committee member of Women in Aviation – Australian Chapter and has been active in getting girls into aviation.
  • Margaret Sullivan, who is a former AWPA NSW President. She has a CPL and expired instructor rating. She is still very active in the AWPA and also a member of Women in Aviation.

Both Lea and Margaret made a valuable contribution to the evening activities.

After dinner, and as part of the Cadet of the Year evaluation process, all candidates were required to make a 15-minute presentation to enhance their opportunity to be selected as the League’s Cadet of the Year. This year the topic of their presentation was “Why I joined the Air League, what has it done for me and what can I do for the Air League in return to assist in improving the AAL for all Cadets”.

The Senior Officers and our invited guests, marked these presentations taking into account delivery, confidence and relevance.

At the conclusion of the presentations was a return to the accommodation and a good night’s sleep as breakfast was being served at 0700 on Sunday.

The Sunday activities commenced at 0800 with a return to the Camden Airport and, for the COY candidates, included flying conducted in the League’s owned aircraft VH-UNL operated by the NSW Boys’ Group Air Activities pilot, and member of Moorebank Boy’s Squadron, 2nd Officer Stavros Skarmoutsos.

Around the flying schedule were conducted uniform inspections, knowledge assessments and individual panel interviews, the results from which are entered in to a weighted analysis matrix to ascertain the successful candidates.
The matrix used, to ascertain the winners, is weighted as follows:

  • Attitude; Behaviour; Interpersonal skills 10%
  • 15-minute presentation 30%
  • Panel interview 35%
  • Uniform inspection 10%
  • Knowledge Assessment 15%

Any of the nominated candidates would be able to represent our Organisation, at both Group and Federal levels, with pride and they should be very proud of their performance.   Their families, Squadrons and Groups who assisted them with their preparation should be very proud of their involvement and performance.   All were, and are, winners.

After lunch the results were announced in front of the League’s senior Officers. The winner this year was:

Squadron Sergeant Troy Norton, Victoria Group

On behalf of the Australian Air League Inc., I extended hearty congratulations to Troy and commiserations to his colleagues who were not successful but whose participation was excellent.

To miss out on selection in such company is no disgrace as those selected, to represent their Groups, were truly outstanding in all aspects and, as previously stated, their parents, officers and colleagues can be very proud of them and they can take pride in the effort they made.

The League’s thanks go to the NSW Boys’ Group for making the venue available, the NSW Boys’ Group Air Activities staff that assisted throughout the weekend whilst managing ongoing student flying training.

All who attended the weekend should be proud of their individual contribution in making the weekend a success, and for providing our candidates with a weekend that they will not forget quickly.

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