Christine Watson of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes writes:
Family is important to us all, whether it is immediate or indirect or friends who form our family. Part of my family, is being a God Mother to Patrick. This week I was lucky enough to be the guest of Patrick’s parents and accompanying them to his graduation from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra. Patrick has spent the past three years living with approximately 300 young men and women who are members of our Armed Forces – Air Force, Navy and Army.
At school, Patrick loved being an Army Cadet, so it was a natural step for him to go to ADFA. During the three years of military training at ADFA he also undertook his degree in Commerce, with the University of NSW.
The past three days have see Patrick receive his degree from the University, his graduation from ADFA and the all important passing out parade in front of our Governor General and many senior ranking officers from our Armed Forces, Senior Government Officials including the Minister of Defence.
Every service and event we attended was special, not to mention emotional. However, the event that shone, was the Passing Out Parade. It was not just Patrick’s graduating year that marched. The whole Academy of approximately 1,200 men and women did not falter a step. The precision and timing was excellent, right down to the fighter jet flying just above my head at the end of the Royal Salute (and my ear drums are still recovering from the noise).
The Parade day was spectacular. It was hot, I sat with a hat, bottle of water and light summer clothing, unlike those outstanding cadets who wore full military dress uniform, carried weapons and performed for in excess of an hour. They were truly a wonderful sight.
The grand finale to the few days was the Graduation Ball. Again, the cadets wore their dress uniforms and looked stunning. Parents, family and friends jockeyed for photos throughout the whole three day event and particularly the ball.
The past few days have been extremely special and I am a very proud God Mother to Patrick. Next year he will graduate from RMC – the Royal Military College at Duntroon – an even bigger event that I hope to attend. From there, he will be a commissioned officer ready to take his posting in a role as one of our leaders in our Army.
This is a story familiar to our own Simon Turners’, who was also a graduate of ADFA (incidentally this week was a decade since his graduation) and an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Simon spent nine years in the RAAF, was commissioned as a Flight Lieutenant in Intelligence served in multiple environments including Afghanistan, before retiring. I now have a little more of an understanding of the camaraderie Simon speaks of when fondly remembering his ADFA experience.