Preparations nearly finalised for Ceduna army cadet unit opening

SALUTE: Ceduna army cadet unit leader Jillian Mery, centre, with cadets Meg Duffield, Larissa Grasi, Ethan Halls and Kayla Gurney. Picture: Luca Cetta
SALUTE: Ceduna army cadet unit leader Jillian Mery, centre, with cadets Meg Duffield, Larissa Grasi, Ethan Halls and Kayla Gurney. Picture: Luca Cetta

Ceduna army cadet unit leader Jillian Mery says she is excited ahead of the unit's opening day later this month.

More than a year in the making, the Ceduna unit will open at its Emu Farm base on Saturday, April 27.

The opening will be attended by a number of army personnel, including Commander Derek Angove, and preparations are almost finalised ahead of the big day.

"We are getting ready to go, I am excited but have butterflies for the opening," Ms Mery said.

"We are doing maintenance on the grounds and getting everything together for the big day, we also have parents and the cadets helping out."

The opening commences at 11.30am and all are welcome to attend.

Following the opening, five cadets - Meg Duffield, Larissa Grasi, Ethan Halls, Kayla Gurney and Blake Eylward - will be under the watchful eye of Ms Mery.

Cadets will meet at the base each Wednesday for three hours where they will take part in a number of classroom-based and outdoors activities.

These include computer work and catering indoors, while once they head outside there will be activities such as exercise drills and obstacle courses to complete.

Ms Mery said those taking part would be able to pick up new skills and grow as an individual.

"We have five cadets to start with and slowly we can get more cadets signed up - we have a few that are interested," she said.

"The kids will get plenty out of it - they will get respect, team leadership, friendship, learning different skills and be taught how to be leaders.

"The learning they do also goes towards their SACE, which is good for them."

Establishing an army cadet unit in Ceduna was first touted back in 2017 and Ms Mery said getting things organised through Canberra had taken longer than anticipated.

However, cadets have been involved in a number of training camps in the interim period including at Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Coffin Bay.

"So far cadets have enjoyed their trips away and have met new friends from everywhere," Ms Mery said.

"They are now excited to get started here in Ceduna."

If you would like to get involved with Ceduna's army cadet unit, contact Jillian Mery on 0458 095 750.