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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3305


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (10:05): The words leadership, initiative, courage and integrity are words all parents would love to use when describing their children. When put to action, these words become deeds that can build wonders, inspire nations, cure disease and feed thousands. Leadership, initiative, courage and integrity are words engraved into the crest of the Military Cadets; they are a reminder that greatness starts from within.

A few weekends ago, I had the chance to join the Bracken Ridge Military Cadets on a camp on the Sunshine Coast. I went up there on the Friday night at the start of the camp. Military Cadets only started a few years ago in the Petrie electorate, and have already become very popular. Since attending the camp, I can see why.

On the Friday afternoon I met Military Cadet leaders and instructors Mr Tom Bere and Mr Damion Pascoe—both former military personnel themselves. Some parents were parting nervously with their kids. Most of the children who attend these camps are between 11 and 18 years of age. For some of the younger cadets, this was their first time away from home.

The camp itself was a combination of physical exertion, leadership activities and routine. The kids learned to make their beds military-style—I did not know there was a difference but there is—and iron their uniforms. They were up for a run at five in the morning. The camp is a great opportunity for young boys and young girls to attend. After a couple of days they come away a little bit closer to being young men and young women. One of the boy's mums, who was particularly anxious about dropping off her son at the start of the camp, Facebooked me a few days later and said how proud she was of her son that he had developed a little more confidence because of the camp.

The Military Cadet instructors do a fantastic job. Some of the young people who have been there before then go on to help the new cadets who come through. There is a strong emphasis on personal development. The life skills military cadetship instils include self-discipline and motivation, working within a team environment, using the chain of command, writing lessons, public speaking, respect of self and others, a willingness to challenge yourself, and the acceptance of discipline. All staff and volunteers are ex-military people themselves. They are 100 per cent volunteers. They are doing a wonderful job in helping raise some of our young children.

I am so pleased that the Military Cadet program is operating in the Petrie electorate, where they first started in Australia, and that this is available to the youth in my electorate.