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RSL - ADF cadet of the year winners return home from Europe.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon. Teresa Gambaro, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence PARLSEC 005/05 Friday, 21 January 2005 RSL-ADF CADET OF THE YEAR WINNERS RETURN HOME FROM EUROPE From the moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate to the frozen battlefields of the Somme, 12 high-achieving Australian Defence Force Cadets will return home on Sunday night from two weeks travelling the Western Front as part of the inaugural 'Spirit of ANZAC' Tour. Six Army Cadets and three Cadets each from both the Navy and Air Force travelled to Europe on January 11 to tour France and visit London. The tour included taking in many tourist sites in Paris and visits throughout France including the Australian Memorial Park at Le Hamel, the City of Bruges and the site of the Battle of Waterloo. They have also been guests of the Mayor of Villers-Bretonneux, a town that has forever held Australians close to its heart following the heroic efforts of our diggers during two World Wars. The Cadets also attended an emotional evening service of the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Teresa Gambaro, said the ‘Spirit of ANZAC’ Tour would not have been possible without the generous support and funding of the RSL. "Partnering the RSL on this exciting venture reinforces an important part of Australian history in the younger generation by bringing to life the words they have only read in history books" Ms Gambaro said. "ADF Cadets is a leading youth development organisation in Australia, and I am thrilled this scheme enables our youth to act as ambassadors for our country while honoring the ANZAC tradition. “The Cadets were extremely proud to be Australian in a country that has such a high regard for our citizens, especially in places like Villers-Bretonneux where Australian flags are everywhere,” Ms Gambaro said. The RSL-ADF Cadet of the Year Scheme was announced late in 2003 and aims to give up to 24 of Australia's top Defence Force Cadets the opportunity to visit historic sites of Australian wartime involvement and heroism, such as Gallipoli, Hellfire Pass and Kokoda. To become a Cadet of the Year, Cadets from the three Services participate in a series of competency tests including presentation, first aid skills, general knowledge and public speaking. The Cadets progress through a rigorous selection process for final judging. National President of the RSL, Major General Bill Crews, AO, said the RSL regarded its support to the ADF Cadets through the Cadet of the Year Scheme as a way of reaching out to the youth of Australia. Media information: Michelle Smytheman (07) 3283 4277, (02) 6277 4433 or 0418 777 498 Defence Media Liaison (02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664