She has abseiled down a canyon,na vigated her platoon on treks,attended various leadership courses and commanded a ceremonial guard – and now Lily Etheridge has made history as the first female to hold the most senior student position in the third oldest cadet unit in the country.
Lily, a Year 11 student from Barraba, was announced as the incoming Senior Cadet Under Officer at The Armidale School Cadet Unitís final parade for the year on Friday, following their annual camp at Nymboida Canoe Centre last week.
Lily is the daughter of proud parents Rob and Gwendoline Etheridge of ìTamaresqî, Barraba. Lily attended St Josephís Primary School with older brother Sebastian.
More than 240 students from Years 8-12 comprise the TAS Cadet Unit, which was established in 1897 and operates as part of the Australian Army Cadets.While drill and ceremonial work is undertaken and culminates in an annual Passing Out Parade, these days the emphasis is more on outdoor adventure activities such as abseiling, canyoning, kayaking and navigation which promote leadership, initiative, teamwork and bravery.
The thing I love about cadets is being able to put myself out of my comfort zone and persevere through the countless challenges. Cadets has allowed me to be in a team environment and grow as a leader, which has enabled me to share my knowledge and experience gained through the years with younger students, Lily said.
I feel honoured to achieve such a prestigious position in the cadet unit and I want to continue being a role model for the younger years. Regardless of the previous history of male leaders, I feel that any individual can achieve the role with hard work and dedication.
The Unitís Commanding Officer Angus Murray said Lily was more than worthy to take on the mantle of leading the unit.
Lily is a confident and accomplished leader, building her experience over her years as a junior cadet in the unit, as well as through her time as a member of the Schoolís Ceremonial Guard.
This year as a platoon commander Lily demonstrated an exceptional level of leadership and diligence in her duties, combined with an empathy for her younger cadets that is repaid by their obvious trust in her abilities, he said.
Lily has shown a distinct determination to learn and leads from the front.We have had a number of exceptional leaders in recent years in the TAS Cadet Unit, and Lily is one of them. She should be very proud of what sheís managed to achieve over her time in the TAS Cadet Unit, and I look forward to seeing her lead the unit in 2021.
Working with Lily will be the unitís 2IC, CUO Rohan Lawrence.
By Jane Harris Photo below Lily Etheridge commands the ceremonial guard on Remembrance Day.