The RAAF Apprentices Association is the new name for the old Blue Triangle Association which has been running for many years. The Blue Triangle name came from the Blue Triangle patch that was worn by the early apprentice intakes. Unfortunately most Intakes were not aware of this patch such that the Blue Triangle Association was not recognised as representing RAAF Apprentices. Google was also problematic in that the search for 'raaf apprentice' would not return the Blue Triangle Association or allappies.com (the old website) within the first 4 pages.
We have changed that with 'raaf apprentices' and similar search terms
now returning this website at number 1 in the results, as can be see on
the screenshot at the right.
Many of us do not want to be exposed to Facebook and its data scraping
technology so cannot connect with old mates on that platform. Therefore
it is our longer term intention to host a 'Facebook' type forum where
members can share their thoughts.
The current committee of the RAAF Apprentices Association is:
Dutchy (Marty) Holland (27 Intake) President 0499 229911
Mick Yarrow (31 Intake) Treasurer 0401 251754
Ken Goold (27 Intake) Secretary 0403 877536
We are here to assist you so don't hesitate to contact us.
ABOUT THE RAAF APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME
The RAAF Apprenticeship Scheme was based on a similar scheme run by the Royal Air Force in Britian. In the RAF instance the scheme had been running well before WWII. It was first considered by the Air Board in 1943 but was shelved during the war.
In 1945 Air Commodore Hewitt the Air Member for personnel noted in a submission the difficulties that the RAAF had experienced in recruiting men of sufficient educational standard to deal with the rapid technological advances being made in aviation at the time. The then general education system throughout Australia was believed to be inadequate or inappropriate to the needs of the RAAF. It was believed that the service had to bridge the gap with additional classroom training for new recruits. There were two separate schools set up, one at Frognall in Victoria and the other in Wagga Wagga New South Wales.
The Radio Apprentice School was formed at RAAF Frognall in December 1947. No 1 Course (comprising 16 trainees) began training in the first week of February 1948. Formal radio training was undertaken by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and this arrangement continued for the next 26 years. From 1948 until 1960 each new intake of Radio Apprentices undertook a common course; this was the first six months of RMIT's Associate Diploma in Communication Engineering.
Those who passed this common course continued with the Diploma course for a further 2½ years followed by one year at the RAAF School of Radio (RADS) which was then located at Ballarat in Victoria. On successfully completing this four-year training period, apprentices were awarded their Associate Diplomas. Some were selected for a further years study at RMIT to qualify for a Fellowship Diploma, after which they were commissioned. Those apprentices who failed the six month common course were streamed into RMIT’s Radio and Electronics Technician Certificate course. This was an 18 month course, and those who passed did a further eight months training in applied electronics at RADS before finally graduating.
In 1961 RADS moved from Ballarat to Laverton. So did the Radio Apprentice School which, on 1 May 1961, was reformed within RADS as Radio Apprentice Squadron. 1961 also saw the abolition of the six month common course at RMIT. Entrants selected for RAAF apprenticeships did RMIT’s Radio and Electronics Technician Certificate course plus eight months in applied electronics at RADS. Entrants selected for the Diploma course went to Frognall as Officer Cadets.
In 1969 RMIT replaced its Technician Certificate course with a two year Trade Technician course. All RAAF Radio Apprentices undertook this course followed by a further eight months training at RADS. The RAAF’s long association with RMIT ended in 1975, since than all Radio Trade Apprentice training has been conducted at RADS.
The Technologist Apprentice Scheme
1982 saw the introduction of the Technologist Apprentice Scheme to supplement the existing Radio Trade Apprentice scheme. This new scheme arose from a perceived need to train tradesmen capable of adopting a systems approach to the maintenance of modem, complex high-technology aircraft now in RAAF service. Unlike their trade Apprentice counterparts whose two year course is conducted entirely at RADS, Technologist Apprentices undertake a three year Certificate of Technology course at Footscray College of TAFE as well as specialist training at RADS. 1988 saw the Certificate of Technology course upgraded to an Associate Diploma in Engineering (Electronics).
From RAAF Radschool Magazine
Being a RAAF Apprentice meant learning everything
from the ground up
Apprentices Club C1965
From ANZACS to Sprogs the Scheme had outlived its usefulness by 1993.
To ensure that the friendships and camaraderie born from our time at RAAFSTT continues until the last of us pass to that great hanger in the sky