NAIDOC Week will provide Aircraftwoman (ACW) Rachael Ellem from Wollongong with an opportunity to celebrate her culture and raise awareness about issues Indigenous people face in today's society.
The 24-year-old Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) member is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people of the Tamworth region in NSW and was recently posted to RAAF Base Williamtown.
ACW Ellem is looking forward to proudly discussing her own family's Indigenous background as the nation takes the time to recognise and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"NAIDOC Week to me is about celebrating the success and achievements of Indigenous people all over Australia," ACW Ellem said.
"I think it is great we have an entire week dedicated to celebrating and remembering our culture, it gives us something to look forward to each year."
Recently posted to 453 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown, ACW Ellem is part of a small yet dynamic team that provides administrative support to the entire squadron. Her many responsibilities include managing members’ travel, writing publications, ordering equipment, vetting mail and overseeing all correspondence for the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer.
"After completing my nine week administration and logistics training at RAAF Base Wagga Wagga, I was assigned my first posting to Williamtown," she said.
"Every day is different and involves a wide variety of tasks, which I really enjoy."
ACW Ellem attended Wollongong High School of Performing Arts and was also a member of Dance World, the local Dance school for 19 years. She enjoys returning home to Wollongong to catch up with friends, spend time at the beach and explore the mountain ranges in the area.
Although ACW Ellem will not have the chance to return home during NAIDOC Week she looks forward to participating in activities in the local Newcastle region.