Bringing together two very different schools as one Cadet Unit every Friday afternoon, provides so many benefits. Our partnership with St Catherine’s allows cadets from both schools to experience a vastly different context to the rest of their school week, and this interaction is key to development opportunities for growth, for tolerance and for building respectful and professional relationships.
While the whole Unit has been informed on our Code of Conduct, the Defence Youth Safety package, and my own expectations of respectful behaviour, it sometimes takes time for our young people to learn how to conduct themselves professionally. They don’t always get it right. But lapses in judgement provide an ideal platform to educate and to reinforce the message of respect, particularly between our two schools.
The Cadet Unit’s core tenets reflect those of the AAC and encourage Service, Courage, Integrity and Excellence, but it is Respect which must underpin everything we do to foster an inclusive, collaborative and positive experience in Cadets. Derision will not be tolerated, and I would encourage all to be mindful of keeping their interactions, be it on social media or in person, professional and respectful at all times.
It takes courage for young people to check their behaviour, to think twice before acting and speaking, and it is not something that the instant, modern world facilitates. I would ask all individuals to be vigilant with their own conduct, to ensure our platoons and companies are exhibiting behaviour of which we can all be proud.