Eighteen recruits graduated from Navy’s Indigenous Development Program at HMAS Cairns in December.
Friends and family were joined at the graduation ceremony by senior officers including Commodore Training, Commodore Charles Huxtable, and congratulated the men and women on their accomplishments.
“Twenty people joined as recruits in August, for the twelfth iteration of the Navy Indigenous Development Program,” Commodore Huxtable said.
“Today we congratulate the eighteen who challenged themselves to complete this course.
The Navy Indigenous Development Program was launched in March 2014 and is a key aspect of the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan and ‘Closing the Gap’.
Since 2014, 188 recruits have graduated from the program, with 65% of those continuing on to careers in the Australian Defence Force.
The program can also be a conduit to the Australian Public Service if the Recruit decides that a life in the military is not for them.
Twenty-three-year-old Recruit Jason Fourmile from Port Douglas in Queensland said the course had opened his eyes to career options in Navy.
“The Navy Indigenous Development Program was a great way to get a taste of military lifestyle before signing up,” Recruit Fourmile said.
“Before this I was a normal civilian working labouring jobs.
“Coming into this, I’ve adapted to a military lifestyle, developed my fitness and education and made new friends.
“It feels good to know that I’ve got this lifestyle in me.
“I’m signing up as a Boatswains Mate and plan to change over and become an Aircrewman,” Recruit Fourmile said.
The Navy Indigenous Development Program aims to assist Indigenous Australians in reaching the required standard to enlist into the Australian Defence Force.
On selection, the recruits enlist into Navy on a six month contract and are inducted at Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, where they are taught to march, prepare and wear their uniforms and other aspects of military life.
Following induction, they visit the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, before visiting ships and Navy bases in Sydney and eventually returning to Cairns to attend TAFE and the Great Barrier Reef International Maritime College, where they are taught literacy, numeracy and maritime studies.
Training also consists of Cultural Development, Military Skills and Physical Fitness.