Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2009 Contents 44
ate last year, nine defence
Indigenous cadetship Program
participants received a crash
course on life in the department
through a three-day tailored
awareness training program.
The cadets are sponsored by individual Groups
and current sponsors are the Defence Materiel
Organisation, Defence Support Group and the
Defence Intelligence Organisation.
The training gave the students a greater
appreciation of Defence and public service
values and culture, their rights, responsibilities,
expected behaviours and professional development
opportunities and the role of the Directorate of
Indigenous Affairs in the Fairness and Resolution
Branch in supporting them through the program.
The Defence Indigenous Cadetship Program
provides full-time undergraduate students with
65 per cent of an APS1 salary for each year they
In addition to financial support, cadets
undertake a 12-week work placement with
Defence for each year they are on the program.
At the end of their degree, cadets are offered a
permanent position by their sponsor Group, either
in Canberra or at another location.
Deputy Director Indigenous Affairs, Dawn
O’Hara, said the awareness training is designed
to ease the transition to the workforce, for
placements and full time positions.
“The training was carefully developed by
the University of Western Sydney’s Director,
Indigenous Employment and Engagement, Melissa
Williams with the DIA to ensure it met the unique
needs of the Indigenous students and eased the
transition into the workforce,” Dawn said.
“While it addressed public service integration
issues, including student and supervisors
expectations, it also covered the issues
participants may face as Indigenous Australians.
“During the training, students had an
opportunity to discuss with public service, Defence
and Indigenous culture experts their experiences
and lessons learned. Mentors and supervisors
were also invited to come and share the journey.
“The new training package has been
developed to better meet student needs. And
student comments indicate it was a great success
and a deeply enriching experience,” she said.
For further information about the Defence
Indigenous Cadetship Program contact Ashleigh
Manski on 02 6127 2973.
FAIRNEss AND REsolutIoN
Living the dream
The Defence Indigenous
Cadetship Program has allowed
Peter Varcoe to achieve one of his
“Ever since I began my career
as an electrician I’ve always
wanted to go to university and
do a degree in engineering. I’ve
always wanted to progress,
continue my studies and get a
higher education, and the program has provided
me this opportunity,” he said.
Peter is studying a Bachelor of Electrical/
Mechatronics at the University of South Australia
in Adelaide. As a young husband and father, the
program has provided the opportunity for Peter to
fulfil his goals.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go to
university without the program. It’s given me
a better opportunity to continue to improve
myself academically and by this better provide
for my family and one day help give back to the
community,” he said.
Peter, who is a Defence Materiel Organisation
sponsored cadet, has had three placements in
Defence – one in Canberra, one in Adelaide and now
his third with the DMO in Maribyrnong in Melbourne.
delivers the lot
The Defence Indigenous Cadetship Program
is giving Kerry Kennell everything she is looking
for in a career path.
“The program gives me the chance to access
the path I want – one that gives me a job that
will take me around the country, friends and
opportunities in Defence,” Kerry said.
“Ever since I was in high school I wanted to join
the Australian Defence Force, but I wasn’t successful.
I’m attracted to Defence because it’s large and
diverse and there’s lots of things to do for a graduate.
“The financial assistance and work
experiences offered by the program are also real
pluses. It’s a fantastic opportunity and a good
starting point for a career in government.”
Kerry is studying a double degree in law and
criminology at Griffith University in Brisbane.
“Before I went to university I had four years in
local government. I’ve always been interested in
government work,” she said.
But her interest in law has been an acquired taste.
“I saw a law degree as a valuable asset, but
didn’t realise how interesting it was until I got into
it and started to explore native and heritage title
issues,” she said.
Kerry, who is a Defence Materiel Organisation
sponsored cadet, has been in the program since
2005, and has had work placements at RAAF Base
Amberley, HMAS Kuttabul and now the Victoria
Barracks in Melbourne.
ABoVe: defence Indigenous cadetship Program awareness training participants.
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