On 13 September, No. 278 Squadron based at RAAF Base Williamtown hosted students, parents and teaching staff from Wirreanda Public School, Medowie.
RAAF Base Williamtown has an enduring connection with the Wirreanda School community. With a significant proportion of Defence families living in Medowie and surrounding suburbs, Wirreanda Public School has one of the highest numbers of attending students in the region who have a Defence connection; with their parents either Serving in the ADF or engaged in employment as a Defence contractor at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Royal Australian Air Force Aircraft Technician and Instructor from Number 278 Squadron, Corporal Connor O’Neill said it is a great community.
“I consider our family very fortunate to be a part of such a supportive school community. As a Defence family, who was new to the area we have always felt at home.”
Noting the high percentage of Defence children in attendance, Wirreanda Public School also has a Defence School Transition Aide; appointed to support ADF families make the transition between states and school systems as a result of the Defence posting cycle.
“The support of teaching staff in partnership with DSTA, means that as a Defence family, we have the educational, as well as emotional support we need – given our unique challenges and circumstances.
“The school’s visit to the Base today has therefore, been an opportunity for us to give back. It’s also had special significance for me personally – as I was able to share the experience with my son Finn and his classmates”, Corporal O’Neill said.
Senior Australian Defence Force Officer – RAAF Base Williamtown, Group Captain Peter Cluff said it was a privilege to host students, parents and staff.
“The Wirreanda Public School visit acknowledged the important relationship the Base and Defence families have as part of the local community. It is a relationship that RAAF Base Williamtown values and continues to foster and maintain through its visit program and other community engagement initiatives.”
The Wirreanda Public School visit program included the opportunity for students to engage in a range of interactive activities as well as view a static display of an F/A-18 Hornet.