Navy Indigenous Development Program Course 14 underway

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Nancy Cotton (author), LSCSO Breanna Jacobs-Rochford (photographer)

Location(s): Mossman, Qld

Topic(s): Navy Indigenous Development Program, Diversity and Inclusivity

Recruit Trudy Salt learning how to traditionally hunt with the Kuku-Yilanji Clan, Far North Queensland. (photo: LSCSO Breanna Jacobs-Rochford)
Recruit Trudy Salt learning how to traditionally hunt with the Kuku-Yilanji Clan, Far North Queensland.

The Royal Australian Navy has welcomed their newest recruits for the second Navy Indigenous Development Program for 2020.

Commencing on 3 August with a traditional Welcome to Country greeting and smoking ceremony performed by Mr Henry Fourmile, a Cairns traditional owner and Elder of the Yidinjdji people.

The Navy Indigenous Development Program aligns with the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan and provides the support young indigenous adults require for careers in the Australian Defence Force or Australian Public Service.

Officer in Charge, Commander Mark Tandy has a passion for the program and what it delivers and means to young indigenous Australians.

“This course has been redesigned due to the current COVID-19 travel restrictions but has allowed for some fantastic local Indigenous experiences for the recruits,” Commander Tandy said.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Michael Turner watches as Recruit Trudy Salt conducts the underwater component of the Royal Australian Navy Swim Test.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Michael Turner watches as Recruit Trudy Salt conducts the underwater component of the Royal Australian Navy Swim Test.

The recruits have undergone the initial formalities of uniform issue, medical appointments, drill and bearing, and the Royal Australian Navy Swim and Physical Fitness Test and are now beginning to experience what depth the course has to offer.

The recruits have experienced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Immersion Days where they learned the traditions of their cultures.

For recruit Trudy Salt it didn’t take her patience for hunting along the mud flats of Mossman long to pay off.

Under the guidance of the Kuku-Yilanji Clan, Trudy Salt ‘speared’ the group’s first crab using traditional hunting methods. 

Recruits also learned about Australian native foods, assisting the traditional owners of Mossman with planting traditional ‘bush tucker’ plants. 

The recruits have a further three months ahead of them involving key learning modules operated through TAFE Queensland preparing them for the future.

At the end of this course recruits who choose a Navy career will head to HMAS Cerberus for Initial Entry Training where 12 members of the previous course have just proudly graduated.

There is already an Indigenous Development Program course scheduled for February 2021, for more information visit: www.defence.gov.au/APSCareers/Indigenous/ADF.asp