The pageantry and splendour of the parade for the 135th graduating class from the Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC-D) received an honour of national standing, with the parade reviewed for the first time by Governor-General General (retd) David Hurley.
The Governor-General is himself a Duntroon graduate, having entered the college in 1972, later graduating into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps for a military career that spanned four decades.
The parade was also significant for the graduation of staff cadets from Afghanistan, Fiji, Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said the young leaders on parade would shape the Army’s future.
“Our people are our greatest asset. These young leaders will lead, inspire and make a difference,” Lieutenant General Burr said.
“Today I am proud of these talented young officers, who as they realise their potential will influence our future success.
“Many of our graduates from RMC-D have gone on to achieve great success in their careers and all aspects of their lives. Whether it is with the Australian Army, other areas of Defence or later if they choose a civilian career.
“To see eight international staff cadets from seven countries graduating today demonstrates the prestige of the training of the college and its international recognition by our partners.
“For more than a century, the college has produced graduates who have exemplified the honour, courage and wisdom Australia expects from its military leaders, regardless of rank. Our standards are high, but the results speak for themselves.”
“Our people are our greatest asset. These young leaders will lead, inspire and make a difference.”
The Sword of Honour was presented to Senior Under Officer Robert Mooy for exemplary conduct and performance, while the Queen's Medal was presented to Under Officer Jesse Jones for the highest aggregate marks.
He said while it was a privilege to receive the Queen’s Medal from the Governor-General, the best moment came later that day.
“We were promoted to Lieutenant after the graduation dinner,” Lieutenant Jones said.
“Having my parents put my pips on was a very special moment.
“It was a day full of positivity and everyone wanting to get out on the parade ground. We are all very excited for what is to come.”
Another high achiever on parade was the newly appointed Lieutenant Felicity Maher, who earned high praise the day prior to the parade when she received five awards at the RMC-D prizes ceremony.
Lieutenant Maher received the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Cambrai Trophy, Ronald Syme Trust Prize, Duntroon Society Award, General Bridges Memorial Prize and the Lady Cutler Cup.
She said the key to making it through to graduation was to maintain a balance throughout the course.
“The biggest challenge was staying in step with everything, especially keeping up physical training in personal time,” Lieutenant Maher said.
“I have been exposed to constant and difficult challenges that have defined my experience at Duntroon. I feel well prepared and ready to put the skills I have learnt into practice.”
To view related imagery, visit: images.defence.gov.au/S20193020