Australia — Students graduate from Defence Indigenous Development Program

The Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel, War­ren Snow­don, and Min­is­ter for Indige­nous Employ­ment and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, Mark Arbib, today con­grat­u­lat­ed the 25 grad­u­ates of the Defence Indige­nous Devel­op­ment Pro­gram tak­ing part in their grad­u­a­tion parade at HMAS Cairns in North Queens­land.

“I met with these young adults dur­ing the ini­tial stage of their course in Cairns ear­ly this year and lat­er again in August dur­ing their mil­i­tary train­ing block at HMAS Cere­brus,” Mr Snow­don said.

“It has been a priv­i­lege to watch their progress and I con­grat­u­late them on their suc­cess, a tes­ta­ment to their tenac­i­ty and hard work.

“I’m sure many of the par­tic­i­pants will become role mod­els with­in their com­mu­ni­ties across North Queens­land.”

The 25 grad­u­ates of the pro­gram have under­tak­en a sev­en month live-in course which aims to pro­vide young Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander adults with the life skills and con­fi­dence to secure oppor­tu­ni­ties and sus­tain con­tin­u­ous employ­ment of their choice.

They have under­tak­en a com­bi­na­tion of stud­ies in Lit­er­a­cy, Numer­a­cy, Year 10 sub­jects and cer­tifi­cate lev­el stud­ies with TAFE, togeth­er with mil­i­tary skills and famil­iari­sa­tion.

The par­tic­i­pants are from Inji­noo, Hope­vale, Seisia, Cook­town, Bam­a­ga, Rocky Point, Weipa, Moss­man, Yarrabah, Won­ga Beach, Townsville, Ham­mond Island, Boigu Island, Horn Island, Badu Island and Thurs­day Island.

Sen­a­tor Arbib said the Defence Indige­nous Devel­op­ment pro­gram was part of the Aus­tralian Government’s Indige­nous Employ­ment Pro­gram – a prac­ti­cal approach to clos­ing the gap for Indige­nous Aus­tralians.

“This course is mak­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to young Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander peo­ple from across North Queens­land pro­vid­ing a vari­ety of career options fol­low­ing their grad­u­a­tion,” Sen­a­tor Arbib said.

“A num­ber of grad­u­ates will con­tin­ue to serve as reserve mem­bers in one of the Army’s Region­al Force Sur­veil­lance Units — the 51st Bat­tal­ion, The Far North Queens­land Reg­i­ment, while they pur­sue full-time employ­ment with­in the civil­ian sec­tor. Oth­er grad­u­ates have applied to become full-time mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Defence Force.”

Mr Snow­don said plan­ning and recruit­ment for a fur­ther pro­gram in 2012 was under way.

The DIDP is a joint ini­tia­tive between the Depart­ment of Defence, the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, Employ­ment and Work­place Rela­tions and the Queens­land Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion through Trop­i­cal North Queens­land TAFE.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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