ADF Gap Year 2015 launch
Recruit Hayley Sansom, a 17-year-old from Maitland, NSW, was one of the GY trainees who chatted with the minister.
She said the experience was a bit daunting.
“I was lost for words sometimes, but it was good to hear about the experiences of someone that far up the hierarchy,” she said.
Rec Sansom said she joined the GY program because she wasn’t certain what career path she wanted to follow.
“I saw the GY program and thought it was a good insight into what the ADF was all about and if it was what I wanted for my future career,” she said.
“So far it’s probably one of the best experiences of my life, meeting so many new people.
“I really enjoyed the high wire course and seeing the teamwork grow among the people in my platoon.”
Rec Sansom said her parents were a bit apprehensive when she first told them about joining the Army because she had only just completed her HSC.
“When they heard what it was about and what I actually wanted to do they were really proud of me,” she said.
“Proud that I was doing something with my life and had the guts to come this far.”
Rec Sansom said she had grandfathers who served in the Army in WWII and the Vietnam War, as well as three cousins in the Air Force and another two in the Navy.
“They were definitely an influence on my joining up,” she said.
Rec Sansom said after she marched out of Kapooka she was looking forward to going to Bandiana to do an IET course to become a Clerk Admin.
Platoon Commander Lieutenant James Cranley said he had 20 GY recruits out of the 60 members of his platoon.
“The GY recruits are treated exactly the same as the ARA trainees, except for the few who are under 18 where we have a duty of care,” he said.
“The 17-year-olds are holding up as well as anyone else, but we like to keep their parents informed of their progress.
“We are used to dealing with all ranges of people here.”
Lt Cranley said the GY program was a good idea because it gave a lot of people with a lot of potential a chance to not only take a break from study, but to try something different.
“It offers them a career path and is great for leadership, self-discipline and character building,” he said.
“They’re all doing well here and we’re looking forward to the next big thing which is learning light support weapon (LSW) skills.
SO1 GY Lieutenant Colonel Margie Beavan said the 2015 Army GY Program began enlisting 200 young Australians into the ARA during January and February 2015.
“The Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert attended ARTC on February 17, welcoming Army’s latest recruits and announcing the opening of applications from March 2-14 for the 2016 program,” she said.
“The fully qualified ARA participants will begin arriving in units from June 2015.
“All participants will be over 18 years old on commencement at their unit and fully employable within the level appropriate to their trade.
“This theme will continue for the 2016 program.”
AMINDEF’s Gap Year Announcement
Plans to increase the Gap Year (GY) program for 2016 are well under way, according to Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert.
Mr Robert made the announcement to 40 Army GY recruits at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Wagga Wagga, on February 17.
He said the GY program was a great opportunity for young Australians who had finished Year 12 and maybe weren’t sure what they wanted to do with their life.
“What the government is saying to them is, ‘hey, spend 12 months in the military, do the normal training of a recruit and see if that’s something you’d like to do’,” he said.
“The program is about creating great Australians and it’s about providing alternative paths for young Australians for them to explore what they want to do with their lives.”
Mr Robert said there would be 455 vacancies across Defence for 2016.
“Applications open on March 2 and close on March 15,” he said.
“This year’s GY program had 4000 young Australians apply for 260 vacancies – that tells me there is a desperate need for this sort of work in Australia.”