On Friday 13 October 2017 seventeen Northholm student Rural Fire Cadets graduated at a special assembly, where they were presented with their certificates by Principal, Lynne Guthridge and Matt Kean MP (State Member for Hornsby).
The Rural Fire Service Secondary Schools Cadet program, which Northholm hosted for the sixth year is a great way for students to learn new skills that will last them a lifetime, and offers a taste of what it might like to be a Rural Fire Service Volunteer. Matt Kean highlighted in his speech to our graduates that “as we all live in the bushland shire, the RFS is a vital service and a service greatly appreciated by our entire community”. He went on to say that “it is awesome to see Northholm students take up the opportunity to join this program each year. I think one of the things that sets Northholm apart is that this school gives back to the community”. Hornsby-Ku-ring-gai RFS District Manager, Mark Sugden, commented in his address that ‘being part of a team, part of the community is a valuable and rewarding experience”.
The theory and practical skills taught in the program aim to develop the critical qualities of leadership, self-discipline, initiative and team work.
But a program like this doesn’t run itself. Teacher and Dural Brigade member, Dr Michelle Gleeson, who led the students, praised the Volunteer Instructors and their brigades for providing their time, expertise and trucks to enrich the student’s experience. “We calculated there was over 130 years’ worth of RFS Volunteer experience on hand to guide the cadets.” said Dr Gleeson. At the assembly she also thanked the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Rural Fire Service, for their logistical support, and Hornsby Shire Council for their wider logistical and funding support of the Hornsby Kuring-Gai Rural Fire Service.
In the past, some school cadets have gone on to join their local brigade, a tradition that Northholm is sure to continue in the future.