Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2014 Contents Strong Indigenous
KADEN Hayes is a descendant
of the Gweagal people of the
Botany Bay region of New
The 18-year-old attended
Alberton Primary School and
Mount Carmel College in
He undertook a Certificate
IV in Government through
the Canberra Institute of
Technology, while working under
a Defence employment entry
program run by the Directorate
of Indigenous Affairs.
“I heard about the program
through my mother,” Kaden
“I chose to work in Defence
because of the opportunities the
“It’s been good to work with
Defence, and the people I work
with are very supportive through
the transition into work.
Kaden says the best thing about
his job is travelling to Woomera.
Kaden Hayes is looking forward
to his work at Woomera.
Photo: Corporal Colin Dadd
HOLLY Brambley is
studying to become a
communications and public
relations professional. She
is completing a 12-month
traineeship with the
Department of Defence
through the Indigenous
The 20-year-old is from the
Anmatyerre people in the
Northern Territory, but grew
up in the Macleay Valley of
New South Wales, which
is home to the Dunghutti
She is studying a Bachelor of
Communication and Public
Relations at RMIT University
“I first heard about the
program through the Ngarara
William Centre for Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander
people at RMIT,” Holly says.
“I chose to work at Defence
because I felt it would be very
“I enjoy travelling to Woomera
because of the work that I am
doing and how it relates to what
is done within the Woomera Test
Range,” he says.
“It’s a great place to learn
new skills and develop my
Kaden has now graduated from
the Indigenous Traineeship
Program and is working full-time
interesting organisation to be
She says it has been good to
put to work the skills she is
learning at university.
“So far I have thoroughly
enjoyed working in Defence
Public Affairs,” she says.
She will have more opportunity
to enjoy her work when she
joins the Department as a
graduate in 2015.
Program is good PR
Woomera’s great appeal
Indigenous Defence Public
Affairs trainee Holly Brambley.
Photo: Lauren Larking
For many years, elders of John’s family have
been trying to trace the family’s history but
few written records exist.
“Not only is it a journey to try to find my
family roots, it’s also an education on
Indigenous culture. I am quickly learning
every Indigenous community is different,” he
John is less than six months into his new role
and likens it to his previous job where he was
identifying, recruiting and developing new
Australian rules football talent.
“I am taking on a mentoring role, as I did in
football, keeping in regular contact with our
new Indigenous staff and proactively dealing
with issues to keep them employed. It’s a
two-way street, and because Defence is
so dispersed, I am dealing with Indigenous
people from a diverse range of cultures and
regions. We are learning from each other.”
Defence offers a range of programs to attract
and retain Indigenous Australians.
The opportunities include traineeships,
cadetships, graduate programs and
affirmative employment initiatives. The
programs target Indigenous tertiary students,
first-time jobseekers and those already in
the workforce who are seeking to improve
their skills. John also manages the Jawun
Indigenous Community Placement Program,
in which Defence employees are seconded to
work in Indigenous communities.
The programs aim to improve education and
employment opportunities for Indigenous
Australians in Defence, and to create a more
“Defence is a respectful and inclusive
employer that is proud of its Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander staff,” John says.
One of his goals is to complement Defence’s
Indigenous employment agenda by
broadening the management skills of non-
“We will be hosting an induction program
to help raise their cultural awareness and
understanding, and assist them in effectively
managing their Indigenous staff. It will also
help to dispel some of the perceptions and
myths and play a role in keeping Indigenous
staff employed in Defence,” John says.
Despite being relatively new to the job,
John believes his past football experience is
coming into play and he has already scored
“I get a great kick being an Indigenous
person and helping other Indigenous people
to establish careers, whether it be in the AFL
or in Defence.”
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