Donation means new camping gear for Fraser Coast navy cadets
NEW training aids and camping gear will soon be in the hands of navy cadets in Hervey Bay and Maryborough, thanks to a donation from the 2017 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards.
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said the awards night in November had a military theme to salute the region's emerging military trail, including the planned scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk to create an artificial reef and tourism attraction in waters between Burrum Heads and Fraser Island.
Hervey Bay businessman Craig Winter won a personal tour of the Tobruk, auctioned during the awards night, and the $3600 proceeds have been split equally between Training Ship Krait in Hervey Bay, TS Maryborough and the Fraser Coast military trail project.
Ex-HMAS Tobruk is currently in Bundaberg being prepared for the mid-year sinking, which is expected to create a tourist asset worth more than $2 million to the region.
FCTE worked with Regional Development Australia Wide Bay executive Scott Rowe, who was also master of ceremonies on the night, to secure the auction prize.
"We're very pleased to make a contribution to the region's navy cadets to help them to continue learning life skills and to the further development of the military trail," Mr Simons said.
TS Maryborough has recently been named the most efficient of 86 naval cadet units in Australia for its superior leadership, ceremonial activities, emergency response procedures, dress and bearing and maritime activities.
Cadet petty officer Blake Kroning said the donation would be used by TS Maryborough to purchase extra tents and camp stretchers so all 38 cadets in the unit would be able to attend camps, which taught skills in different environments.
The unit will be presented with the Navy League of Australia Trophy and pennant next month, recognising its national success.
TS Krait commanding officer Lieutenant Peter Green said the donation was a welcome morale boost for the unit which had to raise $30,000 a year just to keep the doors open.
"This is going to go a long way to helping the cadets," he said.
Lt Green said the funding would go towards maintaining occupational health and safety measures and buying training aids. He said the unit's 28 cadets were learning self-discipline and a wide range of skills from how to polish their shoes to how to sail.
The military trail funds will be used to send a tourism packaging expert to Western Queensland at the end of March to understand how outback education products are networked - a system which FCTE is keen to replicate to increase the number of school tours to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.