Twenty two indigenous recruits from across Australia graduated from the Defence Indigenous Development Program – Navy (DIDP-N) at HMAS Cairns earlier this month.
In his address, Reviewing Officer Captain Stephen Hussey congratulated them on their successful completion of the intense 18-week program.
He challenged the recruits to put into practice what they had learned and to live by the Navy values of honour, honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty.
“Wherever your journey takes you, your communities will expect you to abide by these values,” Captain Hussey said.
“Be the very best you can be no matter what the task and make yourself, your families and Australia proud.
“Enjoy yourselves. If you are remaining in Navy you have just begun the journey of a lifetime. You will experience things that you never dreamed of and you will grow as a team member and leader as you continue to learn new things about yourself. If your journey takes you in another direction, I hope that you find enjoyment in whatever you do.”
DIDP-N was launched by Navy in March 2014 and is a key aspect of the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan (D-RAP) and Closing the Gap.
The program is designed to assist indigenous Australians reach the required standard to permanently enlist in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Upon successful selection in the DIDP-N, members are enlisted as recruits for six months and are trained in literacy, numeracy, cultural development, military compliance, physical fitness and maritime studies.
At the end of the program recruits are offered the options of continued service in the ADF, application to the Australian Public Service (APS), or transition back to civilian life.
Captain Hussey said the recruits and their friends and families should all feel a great sense of pride in their achievements.
“For our guests today, I am sure that you will marvel at the changes that have occurred in your loved ones during the four months of intensive training in Crib Point Victoria and here in Cairns,” he said.
“I wish to thank you for your support and encouragement as they have navigated their way through the early stages of their career.”