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Jawun is an external organisation that provides exciting opportunities for professionals, including Defence APS Executive Level officers (EL1 or EL2) and ADF members ((LTCOL/COL(e)), to apply their skills and knowledge to projects in Indigenous communities and organisations.

These placements (typically for six weeks) provide a way for Defence to contribute to the reconciliation process within Australia.

Defence participants will have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to an Indigenous organisation. Most participants come away with a richer and deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Indigenous people, Indigenous culture, and broader networks among Indigenous communities and organisations.

Joshua - Indigenous Graduate Program

Testimony - David Deacon

Corporate Governance & Coordination Manager, Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG)

My journey with Jawun contained more adventure and lessons than I could have ever imagined.

I was part of Cape York Group 47. During my induction week, I was privileged to meet Noel Pearson. My secondee partner, Joe Sgambelluri, and I were sent to the Cape York Land Council. It tasked us to work with the Thaa-Nguigaar Aboriginal Corporation and the Poonkoo Aboriginal Corporation (the Strathgordon mob) based in the Indigenous township of Pormpuraaw.

The secondment gave the opportunity to focus our professional skills to assist with the future direction of the Strathgordon mob. Our project was to develop a memorandum of understanding with a training and employment organisation to set up a "Ranger Training" program on the Strathgordon Station. We were also asked to develop a six-year business plan for the Strathgordon Station, which will culminate in members of the mob being able to live and work on the station.

I took away from this experience a new sense of self awareness and an understanding that Canberra is a world away from remote Indigenous locations.

I have a determination to raise awareness of Indigenous culture and the issues faced. I have become an advocate for the Jawun program and believe it assists in forging long-term partnerships between corporate, Government and Indigenous sectors.