Stirling hosts Indigenous students

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Able Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Peterson shows machining equipment to the students and staff from the Clontarf Aboriginal College in a Fleet Support Unit-West workshop as part of a tour of HMAS Stirling. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Able Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Peterson shows machining equipment to the students and staff from the Clontarf Aboriginal College in a Fleet Support Unit-West workshop as part of a tour of HMAS Stirling.

A group of 18 Indigenous students from the Clontarf Foundation took some time away from the classroom recently and got a taste of Navy life at HMAS Stirling, in Western Australia.

Clontarf Foundation Employment Officer Doug Harris said Clontarf, an organisation dedicated to improving education opportunities for young Indigenous people, enjoyed a close relationship with Navy.

“The Australian Defence Force has always been a good friend of the Foundation and we’ve visited Stirling on a few occasions over the past couple of years,” he said.

“It’s important to have a strong connection because some of our students may end up joining the Navy.” 

During the visit, the students were given brief lectures on the various employment opportunities available in the Navy, had a tour of the armoury, and took on a combined Navy team in a game of volleyball.

Stirling
 Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont welcomed the students and said it was important for anyone considering joining the Navy to have an insight into what that might involve.

“When I joined the military I didn’t know how much was involved – I got a bit of a shock,” he said.

“So any information or hands-on experience that you get about career options is very useful and we hope to provide that for them.”

Captain Delamont told the students that a sound education was imperative to those considering a Navy career.

“Increasingly, in the age of computers, jobs are becoming more technical so you’re more likely to be sitting at a console and working remotely instead of standing on a gunnery direction platform firing a machinegun,” he said.

The students came from a number of Western Australian schools, including Gilmore Academy, Coodanup College, Sevenoaks Senior College and Clontarf Aboriginal College.

Since opening its first academy for 25 students in 2000, the Clontarf Foundation has grown to cater for 4,200 students in 68 schools across Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.