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Trainees graduate from Defence Indigenous Development Program

Defence Indigenous Development Program students at a graduation parade at HMAS Cairns

Participants of the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP) have graduated in Cairns.

The program’s graduates completed a seven-month live-in course to provide young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with the life skills and confidence to secure opportunities and sustain continuous employment of their choice.

They combined studies in literacy, numeracy, Year 10 subjects and TAFE certificate-level studies with military skills and familiarisation.

Participants hail from regional communities including Thursday Island, Yarrabah, Old Mapoon, Innisfail, Boigu Island, Hopevale, Badu Island, Hammond Island, Yam Island, Bamaga, Napranum, Wujal Wujal, Mossman, Charters Towers and Rockhampton.

Some of the graduates are serving as Army Reservists in the 51st Battalion, the Far North Queensland Regiment, while they pursue employment in the civilian sector. Others have applied to become full-time members of the Australian Defence Force. 

The Defence Indigenous Development Program is part of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program – a practical approach to closing the gap for indigenous Australians.

It is a joint initiative between the Department of Defence, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Queensland Department of Education through Tropical North Queensland TAFE.