Aussie Hero Quilts Thank You Weekend – The ADFA Tour by Arthur

Written by AHQ

17 October 2017

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.

Thanks Arthur


and now some feedback from others who attended. 

What a great afternoon!  Our tour guide walked us around the Campus explaining how ADFA works in training our military leaders. As we learned about what their days look like, we saw them in PT sessions and moving from one class to another. We saw pairs of training officers purposely moving about the Campus, saluting officers with  smiles and respect on their faces. I was impressed as Buck spoke to all of the training officers we passed by their first names. There are about 1000 of them!  When I spoke to him about this, he said that it was his aim to know them all.  Buck patiently answered our questions eg “why are these two young men wearing different hats?” … “they are from a French training facility, here to experience our training”. We had so many questions for him!  I was amazed at the atmosphere at ADFA!  It was calm and peaceful. As huge groups marched by, the soft, rhythmical footsteps were like music. The demeanour of these young men and women was peaceful and content. It was  so encouraging to see our future military leaders in their normal daily lives, looking so fit and purposeful. 

Sandy C 

Dear Jan-Maree,
We were very impressed with our guide Flight Sergeant Buck Rogers and with the tour he took us on.  It went over time which was great.  He told us about how the recruits start with YOFT and then subsequent years of training. Buck encouraged us to ask lots of questions.  We liked the entrance to the mess hall with the displays of photos, historical artifacts.  The size of the mess hall was huge. The library was interesting. We thought the whole tour was very interesting and informative.


Jim & I did the ADFA tour. 
It was very informative into seeing how the joint forces are now being trained, collectively. Being given some insight into the various components of each training. 
I was very impressed with the library! 

I looked at all the young faces, marching past, couldn’t help thinking, that as time goes on ,  these young men and woman will be transformed into an effective fighting unit. 
Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching!


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