The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, congratulated 22 participants of the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP) on graduating today in Cairns.
“I’m honoured to congratulate them on their achievement, and to meet with the many proud parents and elders who travelled great distances to see their young people graduate,” Mr Snowdon said.
“I’ve no doubt that, through their determination and hard work, these graduates will become role models for others in their communities throughout North and Far North Queensland.”
The program’s graduates have completed a seven-month live-in course to provide young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with the life skills and confidence to secure opportunities and sustain continuous employment of their choice. They combined studies in literacy, numeracy, Year 10 subjects and TAFE certificate-level studies with military skills and familiarisation.
Participants hail from regional communities including Thursday Island, Yarrabah, Old Mapoon, Innisfail, Boigu Island, Hopevale, Badu Island, Hammond Island, Yam Island, Bamaga, Napranum, Wujal Wujal, Mossman, Charters Towers and Rockhampton.
A number of graduates are serving as Army Reservists in the 51st Battalion, the Far North Queensland Regiment, while they pursue employment in the civilian sector. Others have applied to become full-time members of the Australian Defence Force.
The Defence Indigenous Development Program is part of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program – a practical approach to closing the gap for indigenous Australians.
It is a joint initiative between the Department of Defence, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Queensland Department of Education through Tropical North Queensland TAFE.
Lidija Ivanovski (Minister Snowdon) 02 6277 7820 / 0407 108 935
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999