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Cameron Elston - Winmalee

Growing up and living in the beautiful green lush Blue Mountains of NSW, Cameron Elston has found himself working in the mountains in Afghanistan.

Not long after graduating from Winmalee High School, Cameron joined the Australian Army as an officer cadet in 2004.

Living the school's motto; -"strive to achieve," the 30 year old has now deployed on three occasions; this is his first to the Middle East region.

On this deployment Major Cameron Elston is the Deputy Senior National Representative and national point of contact for all Australian Defence Force personnel in the region.

He is also a mentor at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) west of Kabul.

Major Elston said the mission at ANAOA was to assist the Afghan National Army in training its officers.

"This will assist Afghanistan to stand and fight alone," Major Elston said.

"We are preparing the Afghan Army to be fully self sufficient in the future," he said.

He is responsible for a range of national issues, including manning, tasking, visits and welfare.

"I have coordinated and hosted visitors; including the Secretary and Minister for Defence, the Governor General and groups of Australian politicians," Major Elston said.

Major Elston said he enjoyed his role, especially learning about the host nation’s religion and culture.

"I enjoy forming new relationships with the Afghans and understanding the majority want peace as much as we do," Major Elston said.

"I have also enjoyed working with the coalition forces."

In 2015 Major Elston returned to Winmalee High school where he had the honour of presenting the Anzac day speech.

Major Elston said he couldn’t wait to get back to Winmalee and spend time with his girlfriend Bre and his family.

"One of my first days back will be spent sitting at a café, having a real coffee and just watching the world go by," Major Elston said.

"Followed by a swim and a BBQ with my mates at night with some genuine aussie lamb and steak."

"It's been fantastic, what I am doing here right now is what I joined to do….being in places like this is what I enjoy the most," he said.

The UK led ANAOA includes ADF personnel and is supported by New Zealand, Denmark and other nations as part of Australia's Operation HIGHROAD.

Around 270 personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians are deployed on Operation HIGHROAD as part of Australia’s commitment to the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.