The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today met with the current participants of the Indigenous Development Program being held in Cairns.
The participants come from locations across North Queensland including one from Annerley; two from Badu Island; two from Bamaga; 17 from Cairns; one from Cooktown; six from Hammond Island; two from Horn Island; two from Injinoo; one from Mackay; one from Mossman; one from Prince of Wales Island; one from Rockhampton; six from Thursday Island; one from Townsville; one from Weipa; one from Wonga Beach and one from Yarrabah.
The participants are in their second week of the seven month live-in course that primarily aims to provide young Indigenous adults with the life skills and confidence to secure opportunities and sustain continuous employment as well act as role models within their communities.
“It was great to be here today and get to talk with the participants about what has motivated them as each participant has very different reasons for participating in the program,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Two of the men I met had different reasons for being on the program. One said that he really wanted his son to look up to him and be proud of when he grows up, while the other said he wants to inspire some of his cousins to get off the grog and to get a job.”
“One young woman has reason to be very proud of her self having already passed the recruitment selection and she is now excited about being able to be considered for the job she really wants.”
“It’s hearing these stories and seeing first hand their desire for change that makes me proud that Defence is part of this fantastic program,” he said.
By the end of the first stage on 21 April 2011, participants will have had the opportunity to obtain a First Aid Certificate and a Certificate I in Information Technology. Additionally, they will also have completed the application process and have been advised of their results to join the Australian Defence Force.
The next stage commences on 4 May 2011 and includes Vocational Education and Training at TAFE and periods of dedicated military training conducted with various Navy and Army establishment. Participants also have the opportunity to participate on the job training or work experience in other fields, not just the Australian Defence Force.
The Defence Indigenous Development Program is provided through a partnership between the Department of Defence, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Queensland Department of Education through Tropical North Queensland TAFE.
“I’m very proud that Defence is a part of this innovative and worthwhile program and I look forward to following up on the success of these candidates later in the year,” Mr Snowdon said.
Media contacts: Alice Plate 0400 045 999