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Jessica Skipper - Townsville

Jessica Skipper, from Townsville, will be celebrating NAIDOC Week with the Department of Defence and the wider Canberra community.

The 22-year-old Department of Defence Indigenous Trainee is a proud Kokatha Woman from South Australia. As the daughter of full time Australian Defence Force members, Jessica grew up in a variety of places, but spent a majority of her time in Townsville and Ipswich.

Jessica is looking forward to NAIDOC Week and the chance to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. She recognises the week as a commemoration of how far we have come.

"Our culture is still very much alive, and NAIDOC Week is the perfect opportunity to teach children to be proud of their achievements and all the achievements we have made.

"It's a chance to bring together all Australians both Indigenous and non Indigenous from all walks of life, to learn and appreciate each other's culture," Jessica said.

Currently undertaking her Indigenous Traineeship through the APS Indigenous Pathways Program, Jessica is working the Directorate of Soldier Career Management – Army in the Posting Cell, whilst also completing her Certificate IV in Government.

Jessica had never pictured herself settling down with an on going position within the public sector, but she has found herself thoroughly enjoying her work with Defence.

"I have met such amazing people doing the same traineeship, and also within my immediate workplace.

"I would encourage any Indigenous people who want the opportunity to participate in fulltime and fulfilling work, to look into the APS Indigenous Pathways Program," said Jessica.

Jessica is driven by her parents who are both members of the Australian Defence Force, who constantly inspire her too succeed within Defence and life in general.