Australian youth to benefit from enhanced ADF Cadets program

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Defence

The Hon Andrew Hastie MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Media contacts

Nicole Chant (Minister Dutton's office): +61 419 850 222

Ella Kenny (Minister Hastie's office): +61 437 702 111

Defence Media:

Release content

7 April 2022

Joint media release: 

  • Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Andrew Hastie MP


The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion to upgrade 73 Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve and Cadet facilities across Australia over the next 10 years.

The investment includes $53 million in infrastructure upgrades to 18 cadet facilities, including in rural and remote communities over the next year.

The Minister for Defence the Hon. Peter Dutton MP said the infrastructure investment will support the growth of the ADF Cadets by 10 percent over the next year, and is just one

component of a number of initiatives being implemented to enhance the cadet program.

“We want to provide improved opportunities for cadets through a number of avenues, including better facilities, enhanced experiences, mentoring and relevant skilling,” Minister

Dutton said.

As part of this significant enhancement of the cadets program, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC (Retd) will become the first Patron of the ADF Cadets.

“Being a former cadet himself, Sir Peter will bring strong values, experience and mentorship to current and future cadets,” Minister Dutton said.

Defence will increase numbers in existing cadet units and create new units to complement broader Government initiatives supporting youth development and skilling.

“In addition to the more traditional skills developed through the program, future cadets will also be engaged in STEM-focused activities including cyber security, virtual reality

simulation, robotics and flight simulation,” Minister Dutton said.

“The program will focus on growing cadet and volunteer numbers, and establishing new units in rural and remote areas, including in Indigenous communities.

“To ensure enduring local unit success, additional personnel including veterans and

reservists will be employed to provide administrative support.

“The investment in facility upgrades will also provide opportunities for Australian industry

including local and Indigenous suppliers and contractors.”

Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie MP said the investment would also see upgrades to Defence-owned and leased premises across all states and territories.

Some sites have been prioritised for works and earmarked by Defence for cadet growth as they are in geographic locations where youth development programs could have a positive

impact on the community.

“The sites prioritised under this investment are integral to the ADF emergency response network, and ensuring facilities are fit-for-purpose to develop our nation’s youth,” Assistant

Minister Hastie said.

“As a former cadet myself, I know first-hand that cadets provide young Australians with opportunities to lead, grow and serve our country. It is a vital part of Defence’s contribution

to building Australia’s future leaders.”

“These important announcements will help strengthen the future of cadets, and ensures that we grow the cadet program in the critical years ahead.”

To find out more about volunteering with the ADF Cadets:

Infrastructure locations and investments are available here

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