NAIDOC Week marks Indigenous contribution to Defence

Australian Army Recruit Annie Johnstone of the Army Indigenous Development Program, along with other Recruits from the program, parade through the streets of Darwin during the Anzac Day 2016 celebration in the city of Darwin (Image Dept of Defence)

As the nation celebrates NAIDOC Week 2018, we remember the contribution of Indigenous Australians past and present and the future of Indigenous participation to the nation’s Defence and defence industry.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne kicked off the government's support for NAIDOC Week 2018 with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander service women. 


Across NAIDOC Week 2018, Defence will celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have served, inspired and supported generations in both the Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service (APS).

“Women like Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), Alice Lovett, Martha Alley, Linda Nihill, Myrtle Harris, Ruby Harris, Annie Logan, Dorothy Saunders and Marjorie Tripp led the way for the current generation of service men and women. Today, women represent 19.5 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people serving in the permanent ADF,” Minister Payne said. 

Defence has introduced a number avenues that play an important role in closing the gap in employment, boosting participants’ skills and preparing many Indigenous recruits for their future careers, wherever that may take them. 

These programs include: 

  • Navy and Army Indigenous Development Programs;
  • ADF Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program;
  • Navy Indigenous Development Program;
  • Air Force Indigenous Development Opportunities; and 
  • Army Indigenous Development Pathways. 

The Centre for Defence Industry Capability, in conjunction with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is also pushing to encourage greater integration of Indigenous business within the Defence Industry Capability Development Plan, which will see $200 billion invested to modernise the nation's defence capability.

This initiative includes the Indigenous Business Trade Fairs, the government's Indigenous Procurement Policy and AusIndustry Indigenous resources and grants programs. 

More information about resources is available here

NAIDOC Week marks Indigenous contribution to Defence
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