Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2016 Contents 40 Defence Issue 3 2016
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees across
Defence mark their rich history
Torres Strait Islander people are
celebrated in the first week of
July each year. NAIDOC Week is
marked locally and nationally by Australians
from all walks of life.
This year’s NAIDOC theme was ‘Songlines
– the living narrative of our nation’, which
highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people’s histories and deep spiritual connection
to the land and sea.
Defence held a number of NAIDOC events
across the country to recognise the contributions
that Indigenous Australians make to Defence
and the wider community, and to demonstrate
its commitment to increasing the participation
of Indigenous people in its workforce.
Defence Magazine spoke with some of the
organisation’s personnel about what NAIDOC
Week means to them.
Issue 3 2016 Defence
Kirsty Lee Maylin
Project Support Officer
KIRSTY Lee Maylin, a Project Support Officer
with Defence Science and Technology Group,
has always been involved in NAIDOC Week
and has continued this tradition into adulthood.
To Kirsty Lee, NAIDOC Week is a
significant annual event that brings back many
“As a young woman I became involved in
Assistant Business Manager
“I AM first and foremost a Wakka Wakka
woman,” says Lyndal, an Assistant Business
Manager with Defence People Group.
“Being Aboriginal is more than the colour
of my skin; it’s soul and spirit deep. It’s living,
dreaming, speaking up and reading black. It is
educating myself and both sides of my mob –
black and white – without judgment,” Lyndal
For Lyndal, NAIDOC Week is a
celebration of Aboriginal culture, heritage and
“NAIDOC Week brings many mobs
together and has often been a way for family
to connect back to country,” she says.
“It’s also the spiritual emotions you feel
when you walk through the cleansing of the
smoke, it’s the goosebumps you get when you
hear the clapsticks and the corroboree and it’s
where I stand with my kids with our heads
held high and tears for those who sacrificed
for me to be where I am today.”
After years of encouragement from her
brother – who already worked for Defence –
about Indigenous pathways to public service
employment, Lyndal applied.
“The day I had my interview, I read through
all the agencies that put their hands up for
apprentices pamphlets and waited,” Lyndal
“I couldn’t believe it. The Department of
Defence wanted me! I cried. I walked into
the job in October 2015 and I wondered why
I waited so long. My brother was right and I
have him to thank.”
Her advice to members of her community
thinking of a career in Defence is to simply
give it a go.
“Pathways, traineeships and graduate
programs are there for you,” she says.
the community and helped to coordinate the
week-long events that still occur to this day,”
“NAIDOC means family to me. It’s a
celebration of my family and the strong
cultural connection that we have. It is a really
great time of the year for me.”
Kirsty Lee has connections to the Kokatha
and Arrernte tribes.
“Being Indigenous to me is hard to explain
person and is an important part of my daily
life. I have strong connections to my family
and the land and am proud of my culture and
my identity,” she says.
Before joining Defence, Kirsty Lee, who is
based in South Australia, was a youth worker.
Kirsty Lee came through the Affirmative
Measures Program as an APS 3 records
management officer and has recently been
promoted. Since then, she has made the most
of her opportunities and has excelled with the
Last year, she went to Western Australia for
two weeks to support the records team in the
Leeuwin Barracks and found this a valuable
“I always encourage Indigenous people to
work for the Department of Defence. I would
love more Indigenous people to have the same
opportunities,” Kirsty Lee says.
A Welcome to Country Smoking
Ceremony is held at the front of
Russell Offices to mark the start
of NAIDOC Week in Canberra.
Photo: Lauren Larking
Members of the Navy
Group Bungaree perform
after a Welcome to
Country ceremony at
Russell Offices in Canberra.
Photo: Petty Officer Phil Cullinan
Links Archive Issue 2 2016 Issue 1, 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page