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Monday, 29 July 2019
Page: 1270


Mr ANDREWS (Menzies) (11:09): I'm delighted to join with the member for Canning and, indeed, the member for Solomon to praise the work of the ADF Cadets right around this country. In numerous places throughout Australia, cadet units offer a wonderful opportunity for young people not only to learn more about the military—the defence forces—but to learn important skills which will stand them in good stead in the many walks of life which they might follow in the future. Having seen cadet units on numerous occasions and the enthusiasm of young people for these activities, I know they are something we can all commend and that we can indicate our support for the leaders of these units and for the ongoing work they do for young people in our community.

May I take the opportunity on this occasion to commend also the work of the Australian Air League's Doncaster Squadron, in my electorate of Menzies. It has been led by Ian Walkeden for many years and is a very vibrant group of young people who are engaged in the Air League's activities. The squadron at Doncaster is entirely self-funded, and local volunteers give their time generously to achieve their goals. Along with the cadets more generally, the goals of the Australian Air League are:

To promote and encourage the development of Aviation in the Youth of Australia

To promote good citizenship

To promote ingenuity and resourcefulness of its members

To develop the physical and mental abilities of its members

These are very wholesome, fully rounded activities which are good for young people generally.

Members of the Australian Air League's Doncaster Squadron attend parade nights once a week, when they take part in a variety of activities, including ceremonial drill, model-aircraft building and aviation theory classes. Together with active community participation, they undertake training in first aid, in lifesaving and in camp craft, which prepares these young people for a lifetime of service within our local community. It is great to see the air cadets participate in the regular citizenship awards in Manningham, in Menzies. They also participate in Anzac Day services and in other commemorative services, including Armistice Day, and they help to raise funds for many good causes, so much so that on a number of occasions in my annual Menzies Australia Day awards I have been able to acknowledge amongst other people some of the members of the Doncaster Australian Air League Squadron. This year Calan McLeod and Kevin Huang, two young members of the Doncaster squadron, were acknowledged among 50 or so people on Australia Day. In the previous year, 2018, Tiffany Huang was acknowledged, and the year before that, in 2017, Kenneth Ting, Hanson Wong and the head of the Doncaster Air League Squadron, Ian Walkeden, were acknowledged.

One thing that members in the chamber and others listening may have noted is the ethnic background of those young people who have been acknowledged as part of the Air League. Calan McLeod, Kevin Huang, Tiffany Huang, Kenneth Ting and Hanson Wong all have an Asian background. It's just amazing to see in my electorate, a very multicultural electorate, young people from an Asian background amongst others being engaged in the activities of the air squadron. It brings people together in these activities, regardless of their background, of their ethnicity and of whatever other characteristics they may bring to their involvement. One of the things which I do regularly on Australia Day is award the Australian flag that is flown in the Australian House of Representatives chamber, which the Speaker generously makes available. On Australia Day I award that flag to one of the community groups in my electorate as an indication and a recognition of the service which they provide to the greater community in Menzies. In 2018, as well as giving an individual award to Tiffany Huang, I presented the very special Australian flag which had flown in the House of Representatives chamber to the Doncaster Air League as an indication and in appreciation of the activities which they undertake, of the contribution they make to the local community and as an encouragement to their ongoing work. Once again, I commend the member for Canning for bringing forward this motion to the House and commend the ongoing work of everybody involved in the ADF cadets.