Town's cadet unit at risk
THE Australian Army Cadets has long been teaching young men and women skills for the future.
But the St George cadet unit could soon be in jeopardy due to numbers.
The unit had just completed its Anzac Day march when members were informed of the possibility of the closure, leaving the cadets devastated.
Parent Rae McGowan said the information had come as an unexpected surprise.
"We were told we couldn't recruit enough kids to remain viable - we currently have 12 enrolled in the unit, which, considering the size of the town, is pretty good,” she said.
"They don't take into consideration the population, they just look at the numbers on a sheet, and make a decision from that.
"Both parents and kids are devastated - especially the kids, they feel under-appreciated.
"And to be told on Anzac Day after they had done such an amazing job... they felt like they were just a number.”
Ms McGowan's son Carson has been involved with the cadets for years.
"My son does an on-farm traineeship,” Ms McGowan.
"Without the cadets, he wouldn't come to town. He's made a lot of friends through the unit.
"The unit has also given him confidence and discipline. It's meant so much to him.
"I just want people to know that the unit is easy to join, and the activities aren't hard. It's a great opportunity for kids to get out there and be a part of something.”
Kirsty Waters, another parent within the group, agrees with this sentiment.
"It was definitely a shock, no-one wants to lose the group and we were fairly happy with the numbers, ” Ms Waters said.
"We have really dedicated leaders and I encourage new members to give it a go.”
The unit is looking to increase their number to 20 cadets.
Anyone between the ages of 13 to 17, boy and girl, can join the unit.
The St George cadet meeting is held weekly from 5-8pm Monday night, at the St George Highschool.