Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 7 2009 Contents 29
students have learnt during the course, but some
of the other benefits would be harder to quantify.
"There are definitely indirect benefits such as
increased self confidence and self esteem. They
will influence other young people in the community
who will possibly think 'one of our own has gone
off and done this, I can too."
The Program has progressed very well with
the students having completed their recruit military
training and about half way towards completing
the vocational requirements of the course. They
are working towards completing the requirements
for Certificate II in Rural Operations and Certificate
II in General Education for Adults.
"Some of the students are currently conducting
on-the-job training and work experience with Northern
Territory Police or with the Indigenous Pastoral
Program on a large cattle station outside Broome.
"The students perhaps see this as a light at
the end of the tunnel, and it is our hope that this
experience will make them much more employable
as a result of already having this under their belts,"
CAPT Baden-Clay said.
Defence’s Director of Indigenous Affairs Soozie
Parker attended the open day and was pleased with
how the course was progressing.
"Attending the DIDP Open Day in Katherine
provided me with renewed energy to keep up
the pace in implementing Defence’s ambitious
agenda in creating career opportunities for
Indigenous Australians," Ms Parker said.
"The participants demonstrated great
enthusiasm for their studies and the pride on the
faces of their families and loved ones is something
I will never forget.
"It was encouraging to see how much has been
achieved in such a short period of time, demonstrating
the commitment of everyone concerned. These young
men should be very proud of what they have achieved
to date and I look forward to warmly congratulating
them at the end of the program." What can the
participants expect from the rest of the year?
"They will graduate in mid December and the
intention is that they will be able to walk straight
into continuous full-time employment - such as
an assistant manager on a station, an aboriginal
community police officer, a sea ranger or working
with Parks and Wildlife," CAPT Baden-Clay said.
“Of course we would be thrilled if our
graduates go on to join the full time ADF, but
there is no compulsion – the intention is that they
achieve continuous employment of their choice.
"The opportunities are huge and it could even
be in an area that is completely unrelated.
"We are in regular touch with potential employers
and we have invited several prospective employers to
visit the course and see first hand what the trainees
are doing – there is great interest out there."
As the Program manager, CAPT Baden-
Clay reckons he has one of the best jobs in the
world: being able to actively participate in the
development of Indigenous people.
"This is such a valuable program and I
have had the opportunity to visit the remote
communities where these guys come from. It
makes it worthwhile when you get to meet people
in these communities who come up and ask me,
how can I join up for the next course? "
Commanding Officer, LTCOL Chris Goldston,
said several of the participants were inducted into
the course as new members of North West Mobile
“Significantly, at least half of the participants
were current serving NORFORCE soldiers,
identified for their leadership potential. This
course seeks to bridge the education gap that will
allow that potential to be realised in NORFORCE
and in their communities," he said.
“The success of the program can largely
be attributed to NORFORCE's strong links to the
Northern Territory / Kimberley community.
"Our relationship has been built up over nearly
30 years of training young men of the region to be
soldiers. We have high military standards and a
common culture or 'one skin' in NORFORCE which
is the key to our continued success.
"Basically our soldiers bring a professional
maturity to courses like this and that is what
makes the DIDP a really unique course,"
LTCOL Goldston said.
Open display of
By Leila Daniels
RIgHT: Private Jeremiah Nugget from Hodgson Downs leads
a single file patrol formation during a walk-through with
lesser-experienced recruits on the Defence Indigenous
Development Program, for a military component of their
work in the scrub near the NORfORce Katherine Depot in the
Northern Territory. Photo: Gunner Shannon Joyce
The Army Indigenous strategy, which
is a component of the Army People
Plan, aims to increase the number
of Indigenous members in the Army
and support the government’s goal
of closing the gap.
The strategy seeks to:
■ maximise capability
■ attract indigenous people to serve
in the Army by promoting Army as an
employer of choice
■ maximise the effect of recruiting and
■ build community relationships, and
■ align all Army and Defence-related
Director of Workforce Strategy-Army, Colonel
Scott Hicks said the pilot DIDP had been an
integral part of Army's Indigenous Strategy
and was hopeful that the program could be
expanded next year.
"The DIDP has the potential to be a life-
changing experience for the participants while
providing the positive experience of being a
Soldier in the Army," COL Hicks said.
"These young men are future leaders and whether
they return to their community, pursue a future as
Regular or Reserve soldiers, or take up a different
career, both the individual and the Army benefit.”
AbOve: students studying the horsemanship
phase of their course at the Katherine Rural
college pose for a group photo in the stables
during the Defence Indigenous Development
Program in the Northern Territory.
Photo: Gunner Shannon Joyce
Links Archive Issue 6 2009 Issue 8 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page