St Andrew's Cathedral School

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Mannix Bolus: Servant-hearted leadership in the Air Force Cadets


Mannix Bolus (Year 10) has always had an interest in aeronautics, so he took the initiative and joined the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC). Although Mannix’s initial reason for joining the AAFC was to learn the necessary skills to become a pilot, he said that the AAFC program is so much more than he thought – “it’s all about striving to be a better version of yourself in all that you do…you are propelled to be a brave leader and an even humbler follower”.

The AAFC is a developmental youth organisation that strives to instil resilience, excellence, and discipline in its members, and inspire them to join the Australian Defence Force, through its motto: Inspiring today, leading tomorrow. As part of the AAFC, Mannix participates in several activities including marching in parades (both Drill and Ceremonial), bivouacs (a type of fieldcraft camping style used by the Australian Defence Force) and learning new aerospace skills.

Mannix said that St Andrew’s Cathedral School has inspired him to continue a path in aviation, equipping him with the knowledge, skills and values needed to excel in aviation in the AAFC. Mannix said that “the Character Strengths at School have formed a foundation of the qualities I want to embrace and set an example for at my squadron. Without SACS, I wouldn’t be the cadet that I am today”.

Mannix reflected on some of the Character Strengths at the school and how they helped him:

“At Cadets, I often spend my time helping my peers learn new skills to help them improve and find their ‘Cadet Spark’. My capacity to do this has definitely been shaped by St Andrew’s Cathedral School and learning to be ‘Servant-hearted’. I feel immense joy when I see my peers succeed…even if they succeed ahead of me, because I know that I was a part of their journey and that itself is enough for me.”

I feel immense joy when I see my peers succeed…even if they succeed ahead of me, because I know that I was a part of their journey, and that itself is enough for me.

Mannix bolus (Year 10)

Since joining the AAFC, Mannix said that he has “gained the confidence to lead other people and strive for excellence in everything I am involved with, whether it be in the AAFC or not – these values have trickled down into my schooling, leadership qualities and extra-curricular activities”.

Mannix will be continuing his path to join the RAAF through the AAFC and Australian Defence Force Academy. He believes that “the AAFC is an invaluable catalyst for his future in aviation” and that he hopes to “become a leader that can influence people and advocate for change, while also being humble and delighted to serve”.