Naval cadets at Training Ship Bendigo were recognised for their efforts throughout the year at the group’s annual awards ceremony on Sunday.
Braeden Beck and James Wild were named joint cadets of the year, with Corey Wilson taking home the trophy for runner up cadet of the year.
The Peter Brown Memorial Award for bravery went to Braeden Beck, who showed dedication and continual commitment to cadets during his mother’s illness, and Brianna Elder who also showed dedication and commitment when she stayed on to support her sailing regatta team after learning her grandmother had passed away.
In presenting the awards, Chief Petty Officer Mark StClair said participation in remembrance and other ceremonies across the city had been a “major aspect” of 2016 for the cadets.
He nominated participation in Australia Day, Anzac Day, Scots Day Out and the Easter parade as highlights, as well as the cadets’ efforts in raising money for Bendigo’s veterans community.
“For the second year in a row the cadets sold the highest amount of badges for Anzac Day and Remembrance poppies in this community and we have built up quite a reputation,” he said.
“In short the cadets’ commitment to the veterans community is outstanding.”
TS Bendigo commanding officer Fiona Monteath also used the occasion to announce her retirement from the position she has held for the past 12 years.
“I have totally enjoyed my time with cadets and doing cadet activities like selling poppies, Anzac and Legacy badges, ship visits, teaching cadets how to drive a power boat, and yes, the many water bucket fights that landed on me,” she said.
“My life has taken a new direction this year, with new adventures to come for myself and my partner – I wish staff and cadets a wonderful year ahead and I thank the community for its support over the past few days.”
Sub-Lieutenant Monteath said for those that remained, the focus next year would be on recruitment, with current levels the lowest she had seen in her time at the helm.
“We’re going back into schools doing recruitment drives which we also haven't done for many years,” she said. “My senior cadets, they are going to own this responsibility, they have been tasked with going out to schools to try and recruit new cadets, so good luck with that and I hope that really goes well for you.”