Indigenous youth get
Young Indigenous people from the east coast of Australia were recently able to explore military life first-hand as part of the Defence inaugural Indigenous Military Experience (IME) Week.
taste of military life
Held at HMAS Cerberus, the week was designed to give 18 young Indigenous Australians, aged from 15 to 18 years, a one-week military experience to build life skills that will help them to become strong participants and role models in their communities.
Lead instructor of the program, Army Warrant Officer Colin Watego said the new initiative had helped provide the young Indigenous people with a whole new outlook.
“Some of these individuals have had some challenges in life, so to be able to see the changes we have witnessed in such a short time is fantastic,” Warrant Officer Watego said.
“This week let them explore opportunities that they may have felt were closed to them before.”
During the week, participants faced many challenges including Army camping out, the Navy mud run and high ropes course, and Air Force’s fitness test.
All participants also had training in values, ethics and leadership that was tied in with the ADF values system plus Indigenous cultural activities including a workshop on Walking in two worlds – cultural integrity and performance in the workforce.
“The challenges these individuals have faced during the week have been incredible,” Warrant Officer Watego said.
“Not only did they deal with being away from home, but also learned to overcome their own personal problems. It has been really rewarding to witness.
“Seeing them come together as a team and learning to rely on one another was fantastic; I am really proud of them,” he said.
The Directorate of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), through the Defence Indigenous Employment Strategy, runs a range of courses aimed at assisting Indigenous Australians to enter the Australian Defence Force.
Further information is available at this PS News link.
Indigenous Military Experience Week participants tackle the
high ropes course at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.
Edition 379, 17 September 2013