Twenty three young men and women Navy recruits graduated from the Defence Indigenous Development Program North Queensland (DIDP-NQ) at a ceremony held at Australian HMAS Cairns earlier this week.
This program, the first coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for Defence Indigenous Affairs, provides an opportunity for young indigenous people from remote areas to experience life skills, education, and gain confidence to prepare them to secure and sustain employment of their choice in the RAN.
The Officer-in-Charge of DIDP-NQ, Lieutenant Commander Anne Mena, was extremely proud of the achievements of the 23 recruits, who have undergone five months of Military and TAFE education and training.
The graduation ceremony began with a Welcome to Country by Professor Henrietta Marrie, and a performance by the Navy’s Indigenous Performance group, Bungaree. The event concluded with several performances prepared and delivered by members of the graduating class.
After graduating from the Program, most of the recruits will go on to complete Recruit Training, before specializing in a diverse range of job categories within the Navy, including Medics, Bosuns Mates, Combat Systems Operators, Communications and Information Systems sailors and Marine Technicians. One of the recruits is set to join the Royal Australian Air Force, while others plan to join the Australian Public Service.
The DIDP-NQ is a part the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan and the Defence Indigenous Employment Strategy. The DIDP-NQ continues the long and rich history of indigenous Australians who have contributed and who continue to contribute to the defense of Australia.