Indigenous sailor encourages others to 'get involved'

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), LSIS Dove Smithett (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, Victoria

Trainee Seaman Jordon Hegarty is a graduate of the Defence Indigenous Development Program. Jordon is currently undertaking the Initial Communication Information Systems Course at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. (photo: LSIS Dove Smithett)
Trainee Seaman Jordon Hegarty is a graduate of the Defence Indigenous Development Program. Jordon is currently undertaking the Initial Communication Information Systems Course at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

An innovative program that provides indigenous people with a pathway into the Australian Defence Force is getting top marks from its participants.

Seaman Communication and Information Systems sailor Jordon Hegarty graduated from the Defence Indigenous Development Program in 2014 and recently completed her Initial Employment Training at HMAS Cerberus, Melbourne.
 
Now posted to HMAS Stirling in Rockingham, south of Perth, she 
is now telling "friends and family to get involved”.

“I heard about the program and just went with it because I wanted to try something different,” Seaman Hegarty said.

“Travel was the motivation for me. I wanted to get out of home and see the world.

"It was my first time away from home but I was okay because I was able to keep in touch with my family and friends over the phone.”
 
Seaman Hegarty grew up in Brisbane, Queensland, with her four sisters and two brothers. 
 
She completed the program in HMAS Cairns before undertaking her military and employment training at HMAS Cerberus.
 
“It was good in Cairns but we really felt the cold when we moved to HMAS Cerberus to the Recruit Training School,” she said.

“I am really looking forward to my posting in HMAS Stirling. I hear a day trip to Rottnest Island by fast ferry is a must do.”
 
The Defence Indigenous Development Program was developed to address the needs of northern Australia's remote indigenous people. 
 
The program provides young indigenous adults with the education, training, life skills, confidence and the opportunities to secure and sustain continuous employment of their choice and to be role models within their communities.