In April 2014, the Australian Defence Force held its Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC) in South Australia for the first time, offering unique personal and professional development opportunities to young Indigenous Australians.
The six-week course focuses on the delivery of five core training modules: cultural appreciation; language, literacy and numeracy; military skills; physical fitness; and vocational training.
Warrant Officer Class One Colin Watego, a Bundjalung and Torres Strait Island man who has served in the Australian military for 39 years, is the Regimental Sergeant Major of the IPRC. He says it offers high quality training to young Indigenous Australians from a range of cultural backgrounds.
‘The Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course offers unique opportunities for personal and professional development that participants take back to their local communities’, Warrant Officer Class One Watego said.
‘The Australian Defence Force values and supports young Indigenous people and recognises that Indigenous Australians have a unique contribution to make. I am proud to be part of the leadership team running the course.’
For the first time the IPRC is being held in South Australia, supported by 9th Brigade, Australian Army.
The 9th Brigade has a proud history and continues to contribute to the Australian Army and the wider community as a highly responsive reserve brigade. It has responded to domestic emergencies including the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria and 40 per cent of 9th Brigade soldiers have deployed on operations overseas.
The Commander of 9th Brigade, Brigadier Peter Connor, said some IPRC participants come from areas where 9th Brigade has many regional depots.
‘We value cultural diversity in our workforce at 9th Brigade and we recognise the unique contribution that Indigenous Australians make to the Australian Defence Force’, he said.
‘We encourage Indigenous people to apply to join 9th Brigade or the wider Australian Defence Force when they graduate from the course.’
The IPRC is conducted four times each year, and offers places for up to 100 participants from across Australia who are looking for careers in the Australian Defence Force, or the Defence Australian Public Service.