Mandurah Baptist College student to attend Anzac service in Burma


Toby Calleja will attend an Anzac service in Burma. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d481688
Toby Calleja will attend an Anzac service in Burma. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d481688

MANDURAH Baptist College student and aspiring pilot Toby Calleja will travel to Burma on the school holidays to participate in an Anzac service.

A City of Mandurah Senior Cadet of the 707 squadron, Toby will attend an all expenses paid visit to the Asian country for 13 days with his father.

“The Commanding Officer of my squadron said the RSL speech and award event was coming up and asked me if I wanted to take part,” he said.

“I wrote a five minute speech about the Anzac spirit, what it meant to me and about the work of ‘Weary’ Dunlop, one of the officers who worked in the prisoner at war camps in Burma.

“I was selected the winner out of seven by two RSL officers and now I have the opportunity to attend a trip to Burma.”

The Year 11 student said he was a qualified senior cadet officer and would train to find an appreciation of what the defence force does.

“As a Senior Cadet, I do a lot of commemoration services, ceremonial events and shooting days as well as aviation flying days and camps at army bases,” he said.

The 16-year-old said his ambition to work in the defence force was a product of his sense of patriotism for Australia.

“My grandfather on my mum’s side was a fighter bomber pilot for the Hungarian Air Force in WWII and my two great grandfathers on my dad’s side were at Normandy and part of WWI,” he said.

“Hearing their stories have given me a drive to be in the force.”

Toby realised he wanted to be a pilot in 2005.

“Ever since I saw the Red Bull Air Races in 2005 and 2006, I said I wanted to be a pilot,” he said.

He would also like to study a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian Defence Force Academy in NSW after he finishes school.

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