Leadership skills born in pandemic
Twenty-two-year-old Australian Army Officer Cadet Innes Lumsden, from the Perth suburb of Wanneroo, has had a busy end to a busy year.
Separated from his family and friends by COVID-19 border restrictions for much of the year, Officer Cadet Lumsden completed his military and academic studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and graduated with about 300 of his Navy, Army and Air Force classmates on December 6.
Officer Cadet Lumsden said the academy put in place great support to help the trainee officers get through the challenges of the pandemic.
“ADFA provided cadets with a structured routine and job, academic studies and health security,” Officer Cadet Lumsden said.
“Overall, I’ve managed well thanks to my friends, peers and institutional support networks, particularly when I was unable to physically see family and friends in Perth.”
After finishing high school at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School in 2016, Officer Cadet Lumsden joined the Army in early 2018.
He began military training at ADFA in Canberra and simultaneously started a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New South Wales, Canberra.
Besides his studies and military training, Officer Cadet Lumsden was active in extracurricular activities at ADFA, including the academy’s military skills group and the rugby and skydiving clubs.
“One of the great things about ADFA is that there are lots of sports, performing arts and social clubs to get involved in,” Officer Cadet Lumsden said.
Officer Cadet Lumsden also held the role of executive officer in ADFA’s Delta Squadron, providing administration support and leadership to some of ADFA’s second-year trainee officers.
Officer Cadet Lumsden said this leadership experience was the highlight of his time at ADFA.
“My position as executive officer, especially during the challenges of COVID-19 and my military and academic studies, taught me a lot about peer leadership and personal character,” Officer Cadet Lumsden said.
To anyone thinking of ADFA as a pathway to joining the Navy, Army or Air Force, Officer Cadet Lumsden’s advice was simple: “Go for it.”
“If you are interested in becoming a leader, developing life-long Australian and international friends and studying an undergraduate degree, then ADFA is a great place to start your career,” he said.
Before joining his fellow Army graduates for an additional 12 months of training at the Royal Military College – Duntroon in Canberra, Officer Cadet Lumsden is looking forward to spending Christmas with his family in Wanneroo.
Following his graduation from RMC – Duntroon in December 2021, Officer Cadet Lumsden hopes to become an intelligence officer.