Navy careers for Indigenous personnel

Published on CPOML-SC Tony Thomas (author and photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Coonawarra, NT

Topic(s): Recruitment, Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP), Community Engagement

Army Defence Indigenous Development Program members have been offered Navy employment positions, from left, Private Edith Wasiu, Private Morrison Pearson and Private Isabel Mosby. (photo: CPOML-SC Tony Thomas)
Army Defence Indigenous Development Program members have been offered Navy employment positions, from left, Private Edith Wasiu, Private Morrison Pearson and Private Isabel Mosby.

Three trainees from the recent Army variant of the Defence Indigenous Development Program have ‘jumped ship’ and been offered employment with the Navy. The trainees have been under training since April and are due to graduate at the end of this month.

As part of HMAS Coonawarra’s Navy Community Engagement Program in the Northern Territory, 30 trainees were given a one-day familiarisation on Navy employment and lifestyle.

Upon completion, seven trainees nominated themselves to undertake a four day rating study tour at Coonawarra. Of these seven trainees, three were offered Navy employment from Defence Force Recruiting and the remaining four are still subject to Defence Force Recruitment screening.

Twenty-four year old, Private Edith Wasiu is a mother of two and comes from Bamaya in the Northern Peninsula Area of Queensland. She has been accepted into the Navy as a Maritime Logistics Support Operations sailor.

“I am excited for my future in the Navy and looking forward to its challenges,” she said.

A maritime lifestyle was part of Private Morrison Pearson’s upbringing in Coconut Island, Torres Strait and now the 19 year old is due to enlist in the Navy in March next year as a Boatswains Mate.

“Now that my long-term career future is in motion, I am keen to experience all that Navy offers,” he said.

Private Isabel Mosby’s homeland is Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and is another who is due to enlist in the senior service. In January 2016, the 18 year old will join as a Communication and Information Systems sailor.

“I am excited to be achieving my goal of being a Navy member and provide a positive role model to other female Indigenous community members,” she said.

The Army program runs once a year in Darwin and aims to develop experience and skills in Indigenous people to commence careers in Defence or take back to their communities. Navy also runs a Defence Indigenous Development Program at HMAS Cairns focusing on the naval experience.