Cadets WA

More than 8000 young people participate in almost 200 cadet units across Western Australia.

There are nine cadet programs to choose from:

Additionally, the State Government has provided funding to continue the River Rangers Program in 2015. The River Rangers program provides primary school students with the opportunity to develop confidence, team work and leadership skills through small group work and hands on river projects within the swan catchment area.

What will I do as a cadet?

Cadets get to do a huge range of activities, many of which are not available to young people outside of the cadet programs. Typically, you will find yourself doing adventurous training, exercising your leadership potential, camping, hiking, sporting activities, as well as learning how your host organisation operates.

How to join?

Contact your school and speak to the people running the cadet unit. 

If your school does not have a cadet unit, speak to your school principal, explain the program and suggest they contact the Department of Local Government and Communities for more information by telephone 08 6551 8700 or email  

Find out more about how to set up a cadet unit

How old do I have to be to join Cadets WA?

Cadets WA is a program for young people who are in secondary school. The Australian Defence Force Cadets require members to be at least 12.5 years of age to join. Some schools only offer the cadet program to particular year cohorts, e.g. Years 10-12, so membership age can also depend on your school and unit.

At what age do I have to leave the program?

The Australian Defence Force Cadets allow cadets to remain until age 20, however, in most other cadet organisations, you finish at age 17, or once you leave school.

How much does it cost?

Each unit differs. Most units charge for weekend camps and special activities; however, some also charge a weekly or annual fee. In most cases, though, fees are very low.

Do I get to wear a uniform?

Absolutely! One of the things that set members of Cadets WA apart is that they get to wear the uniform of their host organisation. And in most cases, it won't cost you anything! Each cadet type has its own distinctive uniform and what you are issued with depends on what organisation you belong to. All uniforms are issued on loan and are returned when you finish being a cadet.

What is a host organisation?

The host organisation is the body that sponsors your cadet program. The host organisations involved with Cadets WA are:

  • Department of Parks and Wildlife
  • Department of Fire and Emergency Services
  • WA Police Service
  • Australian Red Cross
  • St John Ambulance
  • Surf Life Saving WA
  • Royal Australian Navy
  • Australian Army
  • Royal Australian Air Force.

About This Page

Last Updated: 03-12-2014