YOUNG people today are better prepared for the world they will enter than thirty years ago despite it’s complexities, the NSW Cross Border Commissioner told cadets at The Armidale School’s annual Passing Out Parade on Friday (8 September).
Retired Lieutenant General James McTavish, who was also in Armidale for his 30 year school reunion, reflected on how things had changed since his own passing out parade at TAS.
“No doubt there will be discussion from my peers about the good old days and how we were stronger, fitter, tougher and better than the young people of today, but the reality is, that is wrong.
“The world is now more complex, connected and difficult; the emerging world order, and the rapid pace of technological, societal and political change requires committed, adaptive leaders whose skills and knowledge is underpinned by strong values, ethics and standards,” he said.
“You are more aware of the world around you, more attuned to the major issues, more connected to people who look, think and believe differently, and you have had the chance to extend your boundaries, explore your limitations and demonstrate your qualities more effectively through the opportunities offered through this school, and particularly through this cadet unit.”
Mr McTavish told the cadets the Australian Army Cadets motto – courage, initiative, teamwork – provided a framework for adaptive leadership.
“Courage is not just physical, but doing the right thing legally, ethically and morally, including saying no when you need to, regardless of the pressure you’re under. Similarly, we tend to think of initiative as a value that applies when the chips are down, but it is also about embracing change and extending your own personal boundaries and experiences in a constructive way, all the while managing risk and continuing to challenge and develop yourself and those you lead,” he said.
Meanwhile teamwork went beyond sport and offered guidelines for families, communities and society, and embodied the concepts of selflessness, sacrifice and sportsmanship.
“But the most fundamental value is respect, and your ongoing ability to respect yourself and others will be the ultimate indication of success through life.”
The ceremonial parade culminated in a salute from the 259 cadets to the departing Year 12 cadets who slow-marched past the unit before leading them off the ground.
To view photos from the parade and dinner, click on the first image and follow the links.