Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2010 Contents 36 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
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2020 YOUTH CHALLENGE
Scores of ADF personnel posted to Defence establishments around the country have been helping
young Australians explore the relevance of the spirit of Anzac while also learning about the current
activities of the Army, Navy or Air Force.
By Michael Brooke
spirit of Anzac
The Defence 2020 Youth Challenge, conducted by
the Defence Department, has targeted more than
two dozen population centres around Australia
where ADF members and high school students
come together to discuss if the spirit of Anzac is
still relevant to the ADF today.
Sailors from HMAS Coonawarra and Air Force
personnel from RAAF Darwin joined the Minister
for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence
Personnel, Alan Griffin, at the Defence 2020
Regional Youth Challenge in Darwin on 7 June.
Manager of the ADF Youth Connection Program,
Group Captain Ken Given said they discussed this
year’s theme – Is the spirit of Anzac still relevant to
the Australian Defence Force today?
He said the 2020 Youth Challenge is not a
direct recruiting initiative, rather it is a long-
term investment which seeks to underline to
the participants that the ADF is a values-based
organisation that shares its values with the
broader Australian community.
“I can say that the standards of our young people
today, especially those seeking to join the ADF,
are definitely higher than when I joined. We have
a very impressive group of young and intelligent
Australians seeking to join the ADF,” he said.
GPCAPT Given said the highlight of his job is
meeting so many young Australians who are much
more knowledgeable and inquisitive about the
Anzac spirit and a career in the ADF than anyone
He said most of the young Australians who express
an interest in joining the ADF did so because it is
a highly-respected organisation, cherished by the
people of Australia for its achievements.
Petty Officer Cook John Carter, of HMAS
Coonawarra, said he was impressed by the quality
of the teenagers who attended the Defence 2020
Youth Challenge at RAAF Darwin.
“It’s really encouraging to see so many quality
young people, many of whom want to join the ADF.
This bodes well for the future of our organisation,”
Corporal Kerry Nichols, of 1 Airfield Operations
Support Squadron, said she enjoyed helping the
2020 participants learn more about the ADF which
may help them make an informed decision about
their career choices in the near future.
“I got a good feeling from helping the teenagers
because I think it’s important they have someone
close to their age group to which they can identify
CPL Nichols said she joined the RAAF some ten
years ago because it was something she had
always wanted to do, and can therefore strongly
relate to these youngsters involved in the Defence
2020 Youth Challenge.
The young Australians were encouraged to become
informed about the traditions of the Australian
Defence Force and to engage in discussions about
Defence and Australia’s future by the Minister
for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence
Personnel, Alan Griffin.
“The Defence 2020 Regional Youth Challenge is
an interactive, multi-media, educational resource
initiative to help students investigate the relevance
of Defence issues to their own lives. Fifteen
challenges have been held across the country
between April to June 2010.”
“This year’s theme was to encourage young
Australians to become informed about Australian
Defence Force traditions and to encourage
constructive dialogue on a wide range of Defence-
related issues such as national security and our
rights and responsibilities as global citizens.
“I really enjoy being able to come to activities like
this and talk with young people about what the
Australian Defence Forces really do and how they
are a significant element of our society,” Mr Griffin
“Anzac Day is a part of the Australian psyche. The
traditions of mateship, loyalty and bravery came
to be representative of the men who fought there,
and continue to fight today.
“It is vital that we ensure the next generation
of Australians learn the traditions of Anzac Day
and the stories of the men and women who have
served our country and continue to serve us today,”
TOP: Nick Packer (centre) and his classmates from
Xavier High School in Albury had the opportunity to
meet with Private Molineaux and try on a slouch hat at
the Defence 2020 Youth Challenge Forum.
BOTTOM: A discussion activity lead by program
manager for Defence 2020, Group Captain Ken Given,
allowed students and teachers to ask members of the
Defence Force questions while in Wagga Wagga.
Photos: Corporal Melina Mancuso
Air Force personnel can now look forward to a chance to work in tri-service Civilian Military
Cooperation (CIMIC) positions on overseas operations.
program takes flight
By Leading Aircraftman Aaron Curran
CIMIC is the branch of military operations that
focuses on providing support and coordination in
the development of the civilian population.
The first Air Force member to take on this role is
Flight Lieutenant Thomas Dunn, who is deployed
on Operation Astute.
FLTLT Dunn, a logistics officer from 395
Expeditionary Combat Support Wing at RAAF
Base Amberley, is in East Timor for a six-month
deployment conducting Medical Civil Action
Program (MedCAP) patrols.
“I help coordinate the East Timorese Defence
Force (F-FDTL), Ministry of Health and District
Administrators to conduct medical clinics in remote
areas,” FLTLT Dunn said.
“Our main objective is to develop the host nation
agencies so they can conduct these clinics without
the assistance of the International Stabilisation
Before he joined the CIMIC, FLTLT Dunn completed
the necessary tactical operator’s course as well as
the joint CIMIC staff planner’s course.
“I saw an opportunity to expand my skill sets and
use them on operations.
“CIMIC is a non-kinetic operation, which is a
traditional hearts and minds campaign.”
He said those that take on the role as CIMIC in
the Air Force need to be prepared to realise that
they are in a capability in its infancy and may be
called upon to do instructional roles and assist in
aBOVe: Flight Lieutenant Tom Dunn watches over the
registration process at the MedCAP in Ucecai village.
BeLLOW: Sergeant Troy Roberts from the International
Stabilisation Force (ISF) treats locals at the Medical Civic
Action Program (MedCAP) in Oecussi, East Timor.
Photos: LAC Leigh Cameron
“The Air Force is well suited to this role due to our
psyche,” FLTLT Dunn said.
“We are not as aggressive in the way we do
He said CIMIC operators liaised with people as
high as ministers of government down to the
average Timorese villager, so potential candidates
needed to be able to communicate with confidence
at all levels.
One MedCAP that FLTLT Dunn fondly remembers
was in Ucecai, a remote village in the country,
accessible only by helicopter. “The local population
made us a welcome sign and waited for us,” he
“They practised the welcome dance for 24 hours
straight before we arrived. It was a massive deal
for them. As much as the villages loved to see us,
by the end of our visit we had given back 10-fold,
which felt good.”
FLTLT Dunn said the main purpose of the MedCAP
was to train local populations so that they could
conduct these types of operations once they left.
“It is not good enough to do it just so you feel good
about yourself – that is useless,” he said.
“We are in the process of state-building, so
you need to do it to the point where you are
comfortable that the local army and local ministry
of health can conduct these operations once we
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