Since 1995 the Western Australian Government has adopted a program to encourage the formation of cadet units at Western Australian high schools. This scheme is known as the Cadets WA program.
The Cadets WA program is a voluntary scheme open to all secondary school students and gives young people between the ages of 13 and 17 the opportunity to learn vital life skills. They have the opportunity to develop physically, intellectually and socially, through structured leadership, initiative and teamwork training and activities.
The feedback from young people involved in the scheme tells of gaining new life skills, new friends and new self-confidence. Most frequently, however, they say they are having fun.
The aim of the Cadets WA program is to provide an opportunity, particularly within the secondary school system, for young people to participate in interesting and challenging structured training that would provide practical life skills, develop leadership, teamwork and initiative skills and foster qualities of community responsibility and service.
The objectives of the Cadets WA program are to:
- Encourage and support the establishment, development and expansion of community youth organisations that provide cadet-style training, into the State’s secondary schools.
- Encourage young Western Australians to become members of voluntary school-based cadet organisations established or supported by the program.
- Encourage development of the individual through training in leadership, teamwork, initiative, and develop qualities of self-discipline, community service and responsibility.
- Enhance, promote and project a positive image of the State’s youth.
- Encourage and foster the ideal of community service by establishing and strengthening links between the individual, their host organisation, their school, and their community, through active participation in the program.
- Compliment existing formal education and training programs and courses by encouraging the accreditation and recognition of skills and competencies, gained by individuals during the course of their cadet training.
The Cadets WA program started with the establishment of 11 cadet units in 1996. There are now more than 7000 cadets and adult instructors in over 180 units state wide.
There are nine streams of cadets in the Cadets WA program:
- Emergency Services Cadets – Scotch College
- Bush Rangers
- St John Ambulance Cadets
- Police Rangers
- Red Cross Cadets
- Army Cadets
- Navy Cadets
- Air Force Cadets
- Lifesaving Cadets