Burnham graduates stand strong

Ms Christine Fernyhough was reviewing the parade on behalf of the course patron Mr Neil Graham
Caption: Ms Christine Fernyhough was reviewing the parade on behalf of the course patron Mr Neil Graham

14 March 2011

With all the ceremony of a traditional military parade 96 students from around New Zealand graduated from the latest Limited Service Volunteer course held at Burnham Military Camp Youth Development Unit Southern on 12 March. 

The parade was reviewed by Ms Christine Fernyhough, on behalf of the course patron Mr Neil Graham, co-founder of Main Freight, who was unable to attend due to illness. Ms Fernyhough is to be the patron for the next Youth Development Course which begins in April.

Ms Fernyhough, a high country farmer and author, met the parade with laughter and occasional happy tears, as she spoke with the graduates and heard their stories about what they have achieved.

Using her farming experience to create an analogy, she outlined how sometimes it was necessary to identify elements of the community, in this case the graduates, who just needed a bit of help from their families and community to get back on top.

Officer Commanding the course, Major Ross James, says the course provides the students with skills designed to instil confidence, self confidence and initiative in themselves which will allow the graduates to confidently and successfully establish a place in New Zealand society.

“It builds on the foundation core skills of courage, respect, responsibility, honesty and integrity.

Major James says, “Many proud young men and women are graduating today and have made a positive choice to do great things with their life. They have set positive goals and have a desire to succeed, the challenge to the tangata whenua is to help them.”

The six week course is conducted with staff from Army, Navy and Air Force in conjunction with Ministry of Social Development with support from NZ Police and wider communities of New Zealand.


Contact: Defence Communications Group, Zen Gregor, 021840358 or (04) 496 0219

This page was last reviewed on 14 March 2011.