Welcome from the Chief Commissioner

It is my pleasure and privilege to extend to you an invitation to attend the Australian Air League’s  80th Anniversary Review, to be held at the Gungahlin Oval, Crinigan Circle and Warwick Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 on Saturday 4 October 2014.

There are many attractions to visit in Canberra for those who wish to arrive early or to stay late.   http://www.visitcanberra.com.au

Between 13 September and 12 October Floriade, the national capital’s annual flagship tourism event is being conducted.  It is the largest floral festival in the Southern Hemisphere and is set amongst Canberra’s Commonwealth Park on the picturesque shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Each year in September visitors are invited to celebrate the arrival of spring with a 30-day celebration featuring cooking demonstrations, gardening tips, recreational activities for kids and families, entertainment and horticultural workshops all peppered with some high profile celebrities to add some spice.

Our Review is conducted on the Saturday and on the Sunday morning we will all be visiting the Australian War Memorial for a short parade and wreath laying ceremony.

Three years ago we all gathered at Runaway Bay in Queensland where our Review was conducted in a spirit of fun, goodwill and comradeship.  At that Review some changes were forced upon the League relating to the field competitions and changes were quickly made to accept, and adapt to, the circumstances at the time.  The welcome changes were made for the benefit of the cadets attending.

The cost of travel for our members in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland is still an issue and it has been suggested that the next Review should benefit from an equalisation scheme to manage the costs over all members equally. I would welcome any comments in relation to this idea so that the Council of the League can make an informed decision.

There will be changes at this Review as there has been justified concern in the past that many members have little to do and become bored.  At this Review, we will have other activities operating on the day that members can be involved in when not competing.  Additionally the Review competitions will allow combined gender Squadrons without restricting the rights of single gender Squadrons.   We will also be introducing a system whereby many of our smaller Squadrons will be able to combine to compete in Wing based competitions.

The afternoon March Past will see Victoria, South Australia and Queensland contingents marching as combined Units for the first time.

Those members who have attended previous Reviews will be well aware of the rewards of national competition and friendships made through attendance at an Australian Air League Review. To those who have not yet attended a Review, let me assure you that your attendance will leave you with wonderful memories. The benefits of attending an AAL Review cannot be discounted – they are invaluable.

The League has invited His Excellency General, The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK MC (Retd), Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, to be the Reviewing Officer and we await his reply.  I look forward with anticipation to the attendance of all our members at our 80th Anniversary Review and whilst I know that it is not possible to have 100% attendance, if we aim high – individually and as co-ordinated Units – we may just succeed.

Good luck and best wishes to all.

Chief Comr. Ian Rickards, LM., DSA., MSA

Chief Commissioner