Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 7 2009 Contents 20
AustrALIAn DeFenCe ForCe ACADeMY
recision drill teams,
academics, anxious parents
and inquisitive prospective
students came together
to see the exciting range
of study options at the
Australian Defence force Academy
(ADfA) Open Day recently.
The Commandant of ADFA, Air Commodore
(AIRCDRE) Margaret Staib, said the Open Day
program was an important day in the academy's
calendar for the cadets, teaching staff and
"Our open day is part of a wider program of
open days for universities right across Canberra
and it is a great opportunity for us to showcase the
Academy so that people can really get an idea of
what we are about," AIRCDRE Staib said.
"We estimate that we had about 5,000 people
visit ADFA and we really got the message across
that if people want to be a part of the ADF as
an officer, they can come here and get a civilian
qualification through the University of New South
Wales, and combine it with a military education."
Since 1986, ADFA has provided undergraduate
education and military training to midshipmen
and officer cadets, and during the past 23 years
has lived up to its mission of producing the best
leaders for the Australian Defence Force.
"We provide a balanced and liberal university
education within a military environment, for our
officer cadets and midshipmen but we also provide
the opportunity for research, development and higher
education for members right across the Department
including civilians," AIRCDRE Staib said.
"What a lot of people don’t realise is that
ADFA is unique in the world – it is a joint academy
with a civilian provider for the academic program.
"It is not a defence degree, students actually
graduate with a civilian qualification."
As one of the top research intensive universities
in Australia, ADFA's Commandant is not shy when
talking about the academic success of the students.
"We have an extremely competitive pass rate
of 95 per cent, compared to some of the other top
institutions being around 90 per cent.
"I think one of the reasons for our success is the
academic attention our students receive. We have a
student to academic ratio of around nine to one but
in some other universities that could be as high as
30 to one."
One potential ADFA candidate, Shannon
Bowen, said that the opportunity for her parents to
attend the Open Day allowed them to find out more
information about her desire to join the Navy.
"Over the course of one week their attitudes
have changed from passive acceptance to
enthusiastic support for my ambition to join the
Navy, and I would certainly put that down to a very
smooth and well run Open Day," Ms Bowen said.
The range of post graduate options available
to military and civilian members at ADFA is vast.
"Apart from the 1,011 officer cadets and
midshipmen we have studying here, there are also
2,000 post graduate students and they include
civilians both within and outside of Defence. There
is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to do
their Masters degree or doctoral study here at
ADFA," AIRCDRE Staib said.
One civilian Defence member who has done that
is Sally Schaumburg, Principal Business Operations
Manager in Integrated Travel Solutions, Defence
Support Group. After not studying for many years,
Sally decided to apply to undertake a Graduate
Certificate in Management Studies through ADFA.
"I have found the subjects I've studied to
be extremely relevant in the workplace," Ms
"My research has assisted me to add value
when providing feedback or responding to
questions in the workplace."
ADFA has several well-known graduates, with
one of its most notable being Dr David Kilcullen. A
graduate from the class of '89 and a doctorate in
political anthropology, Dr Kilcullen is currently an
advisor to the US Government.
"Dr Kilcullen recently gave the University lecture
here at ADFA focussing on guerrilla warfare - his area
of expertise. It was really wonderful to learn from him
and welcome him back," AIRCDRE Staib said.
The success of the Open Day was reflected
in the many comments the Commandant received
from prospective parents.
"One parent was so impressed with one of our
cadets that they felt compelled to let the Chief of
the Air Force know. This type of feedback makes
me extremely proud to be a part of the further
development of these very clever and bright young
men and women," AIRCDRE Staib said.
ADFA opens up
By Leila Daniels
AbOve: service Police from the Air force put on a
military working dog display with bite during the
2009 ADfA Open Day. Photo: David Patterson
RIgHT: Two ADfA cadets display the finer points of
fencing during the 2009 ADfA Open Day.
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