Cadets Benefit from Life Experience
When Mick O’Sullivan has escorted his cadets to their various roles in the city on Anzac Day, he will take up his position marching alongside his fellow ex-servicemen.
This month marks Mr O’Sullivan’s 20-year association with Christ Church during which he has co-ordinated the army cadets programme and for a number a years, was also the School’s Administrative Officer, later known as Assistant to the Bursar. When he took on the role in 1988, the unit comprised 46 cadets. Today, it boasts 112 students and has been recognised as the best cadet unit in Western Australia 14 times over the past 18 years.
Nationally, it has the second highest rate of cadets pursuing a career in the defence force behind the Kings School in Sydney. In the past 10 years, 48 Christ Church old boys have pursued a position as an officer with recent deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.
Mr O’Sullivan, who completed 20 years of service in the regular army and reached the rank of Warrant Officer 1, said he felt very fortunate that the boys had always responded well to the programme. “The satisfaction of seeing a young, unmotivated Year 10 student remain in the three-year programme and come out as a life-skilled, driven individual, who may contemplate a defence force career is very rewarding,” he said.
However, Mr O’Sullivan said the emphasis of the programme had always been on developing life skills including leadership, responsibility and learning to be part of a successful team. The school holidays have been a busy time for the Christ Church unit. Five senior cadets were selected from 1,200 to complete the highly competitive Army-sponsored Adventure Training Award while 26 cadets volunteered to collect money for the annual Legacy Appeal. On Anzac Day, 28 cadets will carry banners and flags for the Second-28th Battalion Association, Water Transport Association and 25 Machine Gun Association.