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Gallipoli tour gives cadets new meaning of ANZAC spirit

Our Year 11 students and Australian Air Force Cadets, Ryan Power and Tyler Golding recently returned from a life changing experience exploring the battlefields in Turkey and attending the ANZAC Day dawn service at ANZAC Cove.

Ryan has been in the Australian Air Force Cadets for the past four years as has Tyler the past three.

They both jumped at the opportunity to attend the three week long Australian Air Force Cadet (AAFC) 2016 Battlefield Tour of Turkey and China.

“We have had so many great opportunities as Air Force Cadets including abseiling, flying and shooting, this tour was just another awesome opportunity presented to us as Air Force Cadets,” Ryan said.

The Cadets were able to explore many local and historical sites in Istanbul, Turkey, where the trip began.

“We visited many Ancient sites from the Roman and Ottoman Empires. We really enjoyed visiting the City of Troy and the Temple of Zeus,” Tyler said.

“We also visited many Battlefield sites, including Lone Pine, Shrapnel Valley and North Beach, the beach where the ANZAC’s should have landed. Many of the sites we visited were war cemeteries.”

The highlight of the trip was attending the Dawn Service at Gallipoli on ANZAC Day.

“I found the Dawn Service different to those we have attended at home because usually we play a role as Air Force Cadets in the dawn service so it was a different experience to be a spectator this time,” Tyler said.

“We arrived at ANZAC Cove at about midnight the night before, as we had left early anticipating heavy traffic but that wasn’t the case, so we were one of the first to arrive.

“The Dawn Service was due to start about 5:30am so we had a long wait in the freezing cold night air as we tried to get some sleep on the grandstand seats.

“We were able to see first-hand where the men had come ashore on that fateful day,” Ryan said. “We were struck by just how mountainous the area actually was.

“I could not imagine being my age and having to climb those cliffs wearing their heavy coats, carrying their packs and guns and all the time being shot at.

“Being able to picture it definitely brought new meaning and understanding to what they had to go through.”