The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Science and Personnel and Indigenous Health.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today congratulated a group of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who graduated from the Navy’s first Defence Indigenous Development Program.
“Today’s ceremony saw 25 young Indigenous adults from across northern Queensland graduate from the seven-month course, and more than half of them recommended to join the Navy.
“This is a significant milestone for participants, their families, the far north Queensland community and the Department of Defence,” Mr Snowdon said.
“The Defence Indigenous Development Program – Navy has challenged the participants on a number of levels. They have had to do training in literacy and numeracy, marine studies, fitness and life skills.
“These graduates have sailed on STS Young Endeavour, completed a boot camp at HMAS Cerberus and undertaken work experience at HMAS Cairns. They also completed Access 10 training and components of a Boat Coxswains ticket through Tropical Far North Queensland TAFE,” he said.
The participants demonstrated their teamwork ability and an aptitude to thrive in a military environment whilst training at the Djarragun College Wilderness Centre.
“On a recent visit to Cairns, I was able to observe first-hand this excellent program. The participants’ experiences have developed both their leadership qualities and a personal sense of camaraderie. I am hopeful this course has given them the confidence and fitness to embark on a career in the Royal Australian Navy, and the participants have been provided with advice and guidance on the Navy recruitment process,” Mr Snowdon said.
“While not all participants will join the Navy or the other services, the important point to make is, the program has equipped them with skills and experiences that will enable them to gain employment in the wider community.
“I am excited about what the future may hold for these young Australians and I wish them all well for their future endeavours,” he said.
The Defence Indigenous Development Program – Navy is a joint initiative between the Department of Defence and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. It also forms part of the Australian Defence Force’s Indigenous Employment Strategy.
The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2010-2014 was developed following broad consultation across Defence and Reconciliation Australia and provides action plans to implement employment opportunities and retention initiatives for Indigenous Australians who choose Defence as their employer.
Graduates are from towns such as Rockhampton, and communities such as Bamaga and Boigu Island. Media can request to interview participants and photos will be available.
Alice Plate: 0400 045 999 (Snowdon)
Petty Officer Shayne Firth 0419 895 808 (DIDP – for interviews with participants)
Defence Media: 02 6127 1999
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