Teamwork, leadership & personal growth

Peninsula Grammar Army Cadet Unit was established in 1965 and since that time has operated most successfully as part of the co-curricular program.


The Cadet program provides ongoing opportunities for personal growth in a challenging but nurturing multi-age environment. Students from Years 9-12 work co-operatively to mentor and train junior cadets. The program develops leadership, fosters teamwork and encourages an ethic of service and self-discipline, as well as building friendships across the School. The AAC core values of courage, teamwork, initiative and respect are highly relevant in a rapidly changing world as well as fitting perfectly with the School’s commitment to Positive Psychology.

Recruit training is mandated by the Australian Army Cadets and equips students with the skills they need for a six-day outdoor experience at Puckapunyal in September. For this reason, a minimum commitment of one year is required and new enrolments are accepted at the beginning of each Semester.

Year 7 students must turn thirteen during the year they join. In the first year, Cadets learn the basics of living and surviving in the field as well as some customs and traditions, navigation, drill and first aid. Importantly, training is conducted by Cadets for Cadets so it is our Senior Cadets who plan, conduct, evaluate and improve training. Teachers are present in a supervisory and administrative capacity only.

Each year, the Australian Army Cadets offer a range of opportunities to Cadets at all levels of their training. Junior and Senior Leadership courses are conducted at Puckapunyal during the July and December school holidays. Other courses vary but include Weapons training, Robotics and Engineering. Senior Cadets who have completed the CUO/WO Course may participate as Assistant Directing Staff at these courses, giving them valuable teaching and leadership experience. Examples of other opportunities taken up by eligible cadets in 2017 included: The MCC Cup, a marksmanship competition; a SCUBA Course at Portland where they earned their dive certificates; Cool Cadet, a military skills competition in the snow; and one student completed the Kokoda Track with a group of Australian Cadets. The range of activities varies according to resources and staff but there is a commitment to offering ongoing variety and challenge.

Cadet activities include:

  • Raft building / rock climbing / abseiling
  • Participation in Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies within the School and the local community
  • Three-day weekend Bivouac in April
  • Classroom and practical sessions to learn key skills
  • Annual camp at Puckapunyal Army Training Area
  • Authentic leadership opportunities and ongoing tiered training
  • Live weapon firing
  • Army Confidence Course
  • Annual Dining-In evening and Prize Giving Ceremony
  • Membership of Australia’s leading youth development organisation, the Australian Army Cadets
  • Courses camps at Puckapunyal in July and December
  • A range of fully funded opportunities to take part in skill development and national team challenges
  • Funded opportunities to travel overseas.


The Unit is staffed by a dedicated team with experience in the Junior, Middle and Senior Years as well as a member of the ADF reserve. Many cadets go on to hold Prefect and leadership positions within the School and beyond in civilian life as well as the military on occasion and they credit their time in cadets with assisting them in their leadership roles.

Cadets will also have the opportunity to use elements of their cadet experience to contribute to the successful completion of the Compass and Duke Of Edinburgh awards, both internationally recognised programs.

The Cadet program offers your child many opportunities to develop new skills and experience a range of activities within the Unit with a wide cross-section of students from across the School. It is a unique example of vertical leadership. Camps are held during a weekend in April and the final week of Term 3. Courses camps take place at Puckapunyal in July and December and offer selected cadets the opportunity to train with other school and community based units to gain a nationally recognised leadership position.