Soaring to new heights

TAMWORTH school students have had a behind-the-scenes look at defence force air power to inspire them to soar higher.

INSPIRING: Flying Officer Andrew Bath with Parry School students Jordan Atkinson and Deakyn Langenbaker. Photo: Gareth Gardner 210814GGG01

INSPIRING: Flying Officer Andrew Bath with Parry School students Jordan Atkinson and Deakyn Langenbaker. Photo: Gareth Gardner 210814GGG01

Parry School students met and spoke with RAAF pilots from 76 Squadron in Williamtown who are visiting Tamworth for Exercise Southern Lights, part of the Initial Fighter Course using Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighters.

Principal Sally Hansen said they tried to give the students as many opportunities as they could to see what happened in their community.

“The students tend to have limited opportunities to see what is happening in the community,” she said.

“Sometimes the defence forces are really appropriate career paths for some of our kids because they’re given security, discipline and structure. A lot may not be aware of what’s out there and we try to inspire them.”

Mrs Hansen said some students felt they had failed at school already.

“We are showing them there are different pathways to the future,” she said.

“We are very goal-oriented and future-oriented with them. A lot of them are hands-on learners, so anything we can show them in the real world hopefully inspires them.”

Student Adrian Justice described the field trip as fun and cool.

“I’d like to check out the courses for it,” he said. “The plane was the best part of the visit.”

Fellow student Alex Schefe said his mum wanted him to join the army.

“Looking inside the jet was cool,” he said.

He said aviation was something he was interested in and wanted to be a pilot.

The Hawks will be in Tamworth until August 29 when Exercise Southern Lights wraps up and they return to Williamtown.

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