Indigenous Students Get Taste Of Defence Life


Twelve students from the Walgett and Lightning Ridge region in NSW have embarked on an exciting journey through Defence’s work experience Indigenous Youth Program.

The program works in collaboration with the NSW Government’s Educational Pathways Program to introduce Indigenous students, and their friends, to training and employment opportunities within Defence.

During the week-long program across NSW and ACT Defence sites, students immersed themselves in Defence culture, learning about careers and taking on activities such as sea survival skills at HMAS Albatross and the over-water obstacle course at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Head teacher NSW Education Educational Careers Pathway Program Timothy Wykes said the program was incredibly rewarding for students because they dove headfirst and immersed themselves in Navy, Army and Air Force life.

“The program pushed the students out of their comfort zones and encouraged them to apply teamwork, leadership and communication skills,” Mr Wykes said.

“It was great to see the students still buzzing with excitement long after the bus ride home.”

For students such as Bryton Seabrook and Nick Newton, they now have a challenging decision ahead of them, drawn to multiple career paths within Defence.

“Exploring the role of an aviation technician in the Navy is very interesting, but also working on helicopters sounds great,” Mr Seabrook said.

Mr Newton followed with: “I am really interested in an infantry role in the Army; however, being a seamanship and small-arms specialist [boatswain’s mate] also looks cool”.

While fellow student George Kennedy, inspired by his grandfather’s service in World War 2, aims to follow in his footsteps and become an Army officer, Markel McBride dreams of navigating the seas as a Navy chef and Skye Noyes aspires to be a boatswain’s mate in the Navy.

Manager for Defence Work Experience ACT and Southern NSW Isabel Massey said it was a privilege to meet and spend a week with the 12 students.

“It was inspiring to see these students taking on leadership roles and achieving things they may not have previously thought possible,” she said.

“The feedback from the teachers is that the students are still buzzing with excitement over their experience.”

The Indigenous Youth Program is an opportunity for students to get a taste of Defence culture and the career opportunities available. It also offers a safe place for students and Defence employees to discuss culture and identity.

Defence’s work experience program invests in developing the skills of young Australians. You can find out more about the program and the wide variety of pathways into Defence here.

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