St Hilda's Cadets complete last training exercise
Wednesday 3 October
Our eighteen Year 10 Cadets have just completed their final training exercise for the year at the Bindoon and Northam Training Areas.
St Hilda’s offered Army Cadets to its Year 10 students as a co-curricular option for the first time this year, becoming the first all-female Army Cadet unit in Western Australia, and the second in the country.
The St Hilda's Anglican School Cadet Unit (SHASCU) is run by Captain Diana Boswarva and Mrs Angie Ranson, both staff members in the Senior School. They dedicate a large amount of time to the program, holding training sessions – known as parades – every Friday afternoon.
“Army Cadets is all about teaching the girls to be more self-reliant,” Australian Army Defence Approved Helper and SHASCU Administration Officer, Mrs Ranson, said.
“The girls work within their own limitations but within the structure of Cadets, and they learn valuable life skills such as first aid and communication.”
Alexandra Hughes (Year 10) said it was an information evening last year that convinced her to join the St Hilda’s Unit.
“When I found out we would be learning all sorts of challenging and fun skills, then putting them to use, I could not wait to be a part of Cadets,” she said.
The girls graduated from Recruits to Cadets after attending a Training Camp at the Bindoon Training Area in June, along with Christ Church Grammar School and Guilford Grammar Cadets. They also took part in a communications exercise at Rottnest Island in July.
“It was a chance to use the skills we’ve learnt on Friday afternoons during parades,” Year 10 student Prianka Behari said.
“We took part in activities such as orienteering, the radio and phonetic alphabet, field signals, camouflage and disguise, and kneeling and walking without making noise.
“Leading up we were taught how to keep warm, and applied that knowledge at the camp as it was cold overnight!”
Alexandra said the biggest challenge she learnt to overcome was the uniform standards.
“The uniform was very unusual to me at first, as we have to tuck shirts in and have our pants over our boots, for example,” she said.
“But it teaches discipline, and I like that.”
The girls wear their Cadets uniform to school on Fridays, ahead of their parades.
Army Cadets has helped Amelia Beck (Year 10) overcome some personal challenges.
“I had a really sore back, but I was able to push through in the fitness testing and overcome that, which I’m proud of,” she said.
Amelia said Army Cadets also reinforced the values of the School, such as respect.
“Calling the instructors Ma’am and Sir is something I found challenging to remember at first, but I’m getting used to it. I like that Cadets teaches respect. I now call my teachers that sometimes because I’m so used to it!”
Mrs Ranson echoed Amelia’s comments.
“The values of Cadets are also in line with the values of St Hilda’s, such as respect, inclusion and justice,” she said.
“It is extremely valuable for the girls to continue learning and practicing these. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) considers Cadets a very important part of their future, and it is brilliant that girls are becoming more and more involved."