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Australind cadets lend a helping hand
Friday 6 January 2017 – 2:20 PM

​The hardworking emergency services cadets of Australind Senior High School (SHS) worked up a sweat when they dedicated a day to helping with the rebuilding effort for Forest Edge Recreation Camp. 

The camp, located on Weller Road in Waroona, was almost completely destroyed by the Waroona-Yarloop bushfire that wreaked devastation in the area in January 2016. 

Australind SHS Emergency Services Cadet Unit (ESCU) leader Ross Hillier said the cadets were amongst the thousands of Australian school children who had enjoyed attending the camp in previous years. 

“We held a camp there some years ago and were going to make another return visit in 2016 but the fires made short work of those plans,” Ross said. 

“I saw a news story about the devastation the bushfire had caused and the huge task that lay ahead to rebuild the camp.

“It seemed like a perfect opportunity for the unit to assist at Forest Edge after we had enjoyed camps there in years past, and to reinforce our cadets’ core values of community service and social responsibility.

“With that in mind, I approached the camp owner Graeme Watson to see if there was anything the cadets could do.”

Some 30 cadets and six instructors were involved in helping with the rebuild effort, digging holes for future tree planting near the new dormitory and cleaning up trees and branches around the camp. Some older cadets also assisted sub-contractors on the day with activities such as hanging doors.

Ross said many members of the local community had also come forward to help and the cadets were proud to be a part of it.

“The students had a great day and are looking forward to revisiting Forest Edge for a cadets’ camp later in 2017,” he said. 

Other community minded activities the cadet unit have participated in during 2016 include the Cancer Council’s Relay for Life in November, the Bunbury ANZAC Day night vigil, and ANZAC dawn services in Bunbury and Brunswick.

There are currently 44 enrolled cadets in the unit, with numbers set to increase with the addition of fresh Year 8 recruits in February 2017.