Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Defence, and Minister for Indigenous Affairs - Joint media release - Indigenous ADF members inspire others to serve

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Related ministers and contacts

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

Media contact
  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

Media contact
  • Ruby Cameron (Minister McCormack’s office) –  0455 091 557
  • Defence Media – (02) 6127 1999

Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Minister for Indigenous Affairs

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14 March 2016

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion and Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, have joined Indigenous Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, and community leaders, to launch a marketing campaign to attract a future generation of Indigenous people into the ADF.

The campaign features Able Seaman (AB) Jorde Lenoy, Lance Corporal (LCPL) Natalie Whyte, Lance Bombadier (LBDR) John Murphy and Sergeant (SGT) Bodine Luscott who share their ADF experience and how they ‘see themselves’.

Minister Payne said these young men and women continue a strong tradition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service in the ADF.

“For over 100 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have served with distinction and made significant contributions as part of the Australian Defence Force, from the Boer War through to recent operations in Afghanistan,’’ Minister Payne said.

“They have served in roles across the ADF and achieved the highest levels of recognition for their contributions, including a Medal of the Order of Australia and Military Medals.

Minister Scullion said the advertising campaign would support Defence reaching its goal of increasing the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ADF to 2.7 per cent by 2018 to better reflect Australian society.

Indigenous people make up about 3 per cent of the Australian population, but only 1.6 per cent of the permanent ADF and 1.8 per cent of the Active Reserve.

“Our armed forces have an important role to play if we are to close the gap in Indigenous employment,” Minister Scullion said.

“Defence has shown real leadership through this initiative and the four young men and women in this campaign have set a great example for young First Australians to follow.”

Assistant Minister for Defence Michael McCormack said Defence was committed to increasing diversity and inclusion through the implementation of the Pathway to Change strategy and Defence Reconciliation Action Plan.

“The young men and women in this campaign are respected members of the team who have set goals for themselves, challenged themselves and achieved,” Minister McCormack said.

“I commend them for their contribution to our country and for sharing their stories in order to encourage the next generation of Indigenous Australians to aspire to follow in their footsteps.’’

Imagery is available at:

A link to TVC can be found here:

More information can be found on the new ADF recruitment site:

Media contacts:

Henry Budd (Minister Payne) 0429 531 143

Ben Houston (Minister Scullion) 0429 236 016

Ruby Cameron (Minister McCormack) 0455 091 557

Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

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