St Hilda’s Cadets

This week we welcomed to the school Brigadier Ben Slaughter, the National Commander for the Australian Army Cades,…

This week we welcomed to the school Brigadier Ben Slaughter, the National Commander for the Australian Army Cades, and the Assistant Commander, Colonel David Hill. It was an honour to welcome them to St Hilda’s and share our Army Cadet Program that continues to grow from strength to strength.

For five years now, St Hilda’s Cadet Unit has been leading the way as the first all-female cadet unit in Australia.

In 2016, the Australian Army sought to modernise, professionalise and grow Australian Army Cadets (AAC) via a comprehensive transformation program. It was an opportunity too great not to embrace. In 2017 LT Angie Ranson (Officer Commanding) spearheaded the St Hilda’s Army Cadet Program, and the program has grown to become a leading example of school cadet units across Australia.

Correlating with enhanced student learning and performance, St Hilda’s AAC Program offers levels of planning, leadership, risk-taking and personal development that cannot be realised in a classroom setting. Evolving over the past five years, our program has seen over 100 students shine and truly embrace the sense of belonging and service that is strongly embedded in the program.

The benefits to our girls are vast. Delivered in an outdoor classroom, our cadets develop their capacities for creativity, problem-solving, organisational skills and intellectual development. The opportunity to plan and execute scenarios, that are subject to unexpected events, is a key point of difference between the learning opportunities not available in a conventional classroom.

The program also gives cadets the opportunity to build connections between themselves and the natural environment and, in turn, helps to promote a sense of respect and duty of care for the world in which they live.

Watching our girls lead by example was inspiring. One of the greatest areas of development for Army Cadets is the opportunity to enhance personal and social communication skills.

Our cadet parades are a Friday ritual on our Bay View campus and our cadets engage in a field weekend once a term in addition to an annual seven-day combined training exercise in the September school holidays with CCGS and Guildford school units.

Girls, I salute you for being outstanding ambassadors of St Hilda’s and committed cadets!


Fiona Johnston