A time for family and to be proud

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Claudia Harrison (author)

Location(s): Darwin, NT

Topic(s): NAIDOC Week, Bungaree Indigenous Performance Group

Seaman Electronics Technician Alan Lucas on board HMAS Parramatta.
 (photo: Unknown)
Seaman Electronics Technician Alan Lucas on board HMAS Parramatta.

This NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate the culture and traditions of Australia's indigenous peoples, and Navy has many proud indigenous sailors and officers who are sharing their thoughts and stories with Navy Daily.

Able Seaman Alan Lucas joined the Navy from Redland Bay in South Queensland, and is looking forward to participating in this year’s NAIDOC week celebrations. 

Able Seaman Lucas is a member of the Navy’s Indigenous Performance Group which was formally named 'Bungaree', in June 2014.

He said being part of the dance group was an opportunity to show just how connected to his cultural heritage he is. 

“I am particularly looking forward to participating in dances with Bungaree during NAIDOC Week.

“NAIDOC Week is a week for family, and to reflect on our culture. 

“It is a week to be proud,” he said. 

Bungaree dance troupe members wear a mix of traditional dress and naval uniform representing both their traditional and military heritages.  Their performances reflect both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions and were first displayed at the 2013 International Fleet Review.

Representing clans and nations from as far afield as Torres Strait to the western plains of New South Wales—all members are either officers or sailors of the Royal Australian Navy who come together for special events and ceremonies throughout the year.

Able Seaman Lucas is an Electronics Technician who is currently posted to destroyer, NUSHIP Hobart, as a member of the commissioning crew. 

“My job involves maintaining and operating the gun weapon system, radar system and naval fire control system on board NUSHIP Hobart.

“I am very excited to be one of the crew currently working on NUSHIP Hobart, with the commissioning ahead of us. 

“It’s an exciting time for sailors in the Royal Australian Navy with all the future capability coming up on the horizon,” he said.

But Able Seaman Lucas has enjoyed every part of his service in the Navy to date.

“Some of the highlights have included deploying to Operation RESOLUTE, travelling through South East Asia, various port visits around Australia and spending five months training with the United States Navy in the States,” he said.

“I do look forward to coming home though, and spending time with my family and friends."

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2015 is “We all stand on sacred ground – Learn, Respect and Celebrate.” This year’s theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea.