skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Defence Work
Experience Program

A Cultural Exchange.

Work experience students Lerio Getawan, left, and Richard David, right, of St Teresa’s College at Abergowrie Photos by LS James Whittle and Capt James Hook
Work experience students Lerio Getawan, left, and Richard David, right, of St Teresa's College at Abergowrie
Photos by LS James Whittle and Capt James Hook.

By CAPT James Hook

RMC-D staff cadets were provided some exposure to Indigenous culture during the training. Senior Instructor MAJ Rob Barr said he had asked the 148 staff cadets who had met an Indigenous Australian.

"Only 10 hands were raised," he said. "That's when I introduced them to Uncle Billy Morganson, an Indigenous elder and traditional owner for this area."

Mr Morganson formally welcomed to country the staff cadets and support staff on behalf of the Warrgamay and Warrungnu people. In return, MAJ Barr acknowledged the traditional owners of the land and paid his respects to elders past and present.

He also invited nine students from St Teresa's College at Abergowrie - a boarding school that caters for Indigenous students - to join the staff cadets for 24 hours of "work experience". Matthew Pearson, 17, whose great-grandfather served with the Torres Strait Light Infantry Bn, enjoyed participating in foot patrols and vehicle checkpoints. "We did a car crash simulation with injured people and fake blood everywhere," he said. "We were taught how to be calm and relaxed - even when we saw injured people we had to keep a cool head." St Teresa's headmaster Rob Corboy said it was a great activity for the students. "Our students learn to live and work with people from different backgrounds," he said. "They learn discipline and responsibility and other skills that will ease their transition into the Army.

"In return, the Army offers our students the chance to get into well-paid employment while maintaining links with country and culture."