On Friday 13th October 2017 twenty one members of AHQ attended a conducted tour of ADFA, (Australian Defence Force Academy).
We were privileged to have FSGT “Buck” Rogers as our tour guide, a very friendly and extremely informative man.
We assembled at the round-about and began our tour by making our way down to the ‘Tree of Knowledge”. Shortly after completion of construction work at ADFA a fountain was installed opposite the Administration Building. Several years and, we were informed, many bubbles caused by the mysterious addition of detergents, plus occasional colour changes to the water, the fountain was replaced with a tree. It has become one of the most popular landmarks at ADFA.
Coming from across the nation, young men and women commence “Year One Familiarisation Training” (YOFT) which would span 4 weeks and equip trainee officers with basic skills and knowledge required to commence their journey as an Australian Defence Force member.
YOFT encompasses a wide variety of activities and training sessions ranging from basic cleaning techniques to operating the F-88 Austeyr – the first time many would have ever handled or seen a live weapon.
We then moved on to an area above the playing fields. The playing fields cater for cricket, football, netball, squash, tennis and other sports. There is also a golf course at the Royal Military College (RMC) Duntroon. Participation in sport is encouraged at ADFA as it fosters esprit de corps, teamwork and mateship.
As well as the playing fields there is a gym which is the largest Defence gym in Canberra with multiple facilities such as squash courts, cardio rooms, weights rooms and a swimming pool.
We then moved on to the library where, as you can imagine, there is a collection of thousands of books available for research and study by the students. Currently there is a 24/7 access trial taking place and will run until the 17th November. This will provide, a quiet place to study and focus, access to the printers, copiers and scanners, access to Computers and in-house use of Course Readings, Defence Collection and the General Collections.
From the library we then moved outside again to the School of Engineering and Information Technology building. Both mechanical (RAEME) and civil (RAE) engineering are taught in this building.
From here we went into the auditorium which is capable of seating 1200 people. The current configuration is 800 and 400. This is made possible by a removal wall dividing the seating area and the stage. As well as lectures by guest speakers ADFA has an annual production by the ADFA Performing Arts Company. They recently staged an energetic show of the Wizard of OZ.
We then left the auditorium and went to the Academy Cadets Mess. When you enter the Mess it is easy to see why it is the largest Defence Mess in Australia and capable of preparing and serving over 2500 meals daily.
Out tour concluded when we returned to the Administration building. At this point Jean presented “Buck” with a laundry bag she had made him as a thank you for his time.
and now some feedback from others who attended.