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Defence Force day

Term 4 2022

Primary and Secondary School had their annual Defence Force Day last Thursday! Throughout the day, Years 5-8, each group representing the Army, Navy, Airforce and Special Forces, participated in Defence-themed activities from boot camps and drills to ADF Simulators and outdoor battleships earning points for their year group and getting a glimpse into Defence Force life. The day was a great way for the College to recognise the Defence families within the community and celebrate the commitment of our Forces. By the end of the day, both Years 5 and 6 tied for 1st place! Thank you to all parents and Defence personnel involved in the day.

Prime 7 News was there to catch the action: Defence day - 7 Regional

Year 5 student, Hamish Brown recounts how he found the day . . . see below the photos.

Defence Force Day Recount

by Hamish Brown Year 5

You know, when I first arrived at Defence Force Day, I thought we’d be eased into it, just get to know what the Defence personnel do, something about them. But nope, we just quickly were told our groups, explained the points system, and then our Secondary School leaders whisked us away to our first activity: the obstacle course.

The obstacle course was beast. A few of the air force people brought nets and sandbags, and our colourful gymnastics mats were taken out for us to traverse. It spanned over the entire MPC, even the stage, and helped us build up our agility and speed. When I got my go, I sprinted speedily around the orange poles and launched myself underneath the leafy camouflage net. I crawled and shimmied my way along the floor and made my way up the wedges. After hopping my way over the hurdles, we came to our rock wall which they had set up. I climbed it hastily and jumped off it. One of the most fun parts was when we had to crawl between two of the huge mats. It felt like we were suffocating, but in reality, we were fine. After a few more jumps, hops and skips, we had crawled under the last net, and were on to our next activity.

After this, we moved to the Fighter Pilot simulations. A computer was set up with a plane simulator, and some joysticks were hooked up to give us the real experience. During my turn, I quickly learnt the controls, and consequently manoeuvred my way into a few barrel rolls, and thrust my over burners straight up. My luck ran out though, when I tried to angle my plane down and pull up at the last minute! I crashed into the neighbourhood we were flying over. That marked the end of my turn. The air force representatives described in detail how the plane worked and answered any of our questions to the best of their ability.

The Museum with real WW1 artefacts was a great part of our day. We went after the simulators, and again after recess with the other year 5 class. We learnt about everything from artillery shells, to sandbag camouflaged periscopes, and machine gun bullets to hard tac that could break your teeth, and all from an expert. At the end out leader dressed one of us up as a WW1 soldier, complete with a practise rifle, and a sharp bayonet.

Capture the flag was one of the highlights of the day for all of our group. We were split into two teams and separated on different sides of the oval. We had to grab the other team’s flag, well beanbag, and bring it back to our side of the oval. When the whistle was blown, our team ran to garrison the border, making sure as little people as possible could break through our lines. We all tried to get it, but it was our senior school leader who ran through and was able to bring it back. The other team’s leader quickly returned the favour, but it was no competition for the rest of the game, with Josh on my team wiping out their players twice in a row.

After enjoying our time at the museum after recess, we had a look at an army van. It was for medical purposes, and after explaining how it worked, we were set loose to explore the van, and mainly just press as many buttons as we could. We all enjoyed switching on the loud siren, which I bet annoyed the rest of the school. We enjoyed the stretchers and chairs in the back a lot as well. We were provided with optional books, which about half of us grabbed, and then marched off to, well, marching.

When we got to the air force drills station, a real air force instructor taught us how to march, stand and salute in the air force. Standing at ease means your feet are apart and hands behind your back, but at attention had your heels locked and your hands by your sides. At the end, the instructor told us to march around without any of the instructors, and after we had finished, he applauded us for being such quick learners.

The final activity before finding out who won in the competition was battleships with Mr. Cunningham. We again were split into two teams and laid down on opposite side of a tennis net with tarps all over it, meaning we couldn’t see the other side. We were given dodgeballs to throw over the net at the other team, and if you hit them on the full, they were out. The twist was, we had power-ups. Airstrikes letting us stand up while throwing, redeploys making us crawl around for five seconds, shrapnel grenades letting us throw three tennis balls at once, and big bertha, a huge exercise ball that could hit people on the second bounce, not just the first. The first match was close, ending with me successfully getting the other person out, and the second round was just a sweep, ending with us winning, having about five players left.

Then after lunch, we found out who won. Sitting on the floor in the MPC was the tensest group of students you would have ever seen. Mrs Grant announced the scores. Year 7 – third. Year 8 – second. Year – 6 first. Year 5 – first. Yes folks, Year 5 and 6 tied first for the last Middle School Defence Force Day, on Year 5’s first go. The cheering broke everyone’s eardrums and Year 5 and 6 ran up for a photo, where I got knocked over by one of my friends when they took it. Defence Force Day was the best.

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