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Annual Report 2014–15

Feature Articles

—Defence Indigenous development initiatives

Indigenous Development Programme provides exciting career opportunities

Defence is proud of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military and civilian members and recognises their contribution to the organisation. Australia’s Indigenous people have participated in every war since Federation in 1901, and stories of their service form part of the richness of Australia’s history.

Both the military and civilian arms of Defence seek to continue this proud tradition through promoting employment pathways to Indigenous jobseekers.

A key development in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Defence Force is the Indigenous Development Programme, which the Navy has been running in partnership with Defence’s Directorate of Indigenous Affairs since 2014. This five-month residential programme provides young Indigenous Australians with life skills, education and confidence to prepare them to secure and sustain employment in the ADF.

‘I could not be prouder of every recruit, and of my staff, for their dedication and accomplishment’, said Lieutenant Commander Luke Weston, the Officer in Charge of the Defence Indigenous Development Programme, North Queensland, at the graduation of the first intake for 2015.

The Directorate of Indigenous Affairs continues its work in recruiting and retaining Indigenous Australians in the ADF. The aim of programmes like the Indigenous Development Programme is to create a more diverse workforce, and ensure that cultural awareness and understanding is an integral part of the ADF.

The success of this first Navy-run Indigenous Development Programme is not only significant for Defence and the Navy, but also for the recruits and their families who have supported them from the start.

Upon graduation, participants can extend their period of service and continue in the ADF through general enlistment. The Navy is committed to supporting a three-year programme that trains up to 48 Indigenous sailors across two intakes per year.

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/code/indigenous/career/"> Indigenous Affairs— Working for Defence website has more information.