Bush Territorians open new doors in Defence course 


The Hon Warren Snowden MP inspects the parade of graduates.

The first 10 graduates of the Inaugural Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP) celebrated at Charles Darwin University's (CDU) Katherine Rural Campus this week.

The program was created by the Department of Defence to give Indigenous Territorians solid life skills, vocational qualifications and a taste of military life.

The seven-month program included specialised training in Australia’s North West Mobile Force unit (NOFORCE) which undertakes surveillance and reconnaissance in the north and north-west of Australia.

Students learnt basic military recruit training and completed CDU’s Certificate II qualifications in Rural Operations and General Education.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover joined the Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet, and the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon in congratulating the graduates.

Professor Glover said the university community enjoyed working with the men and was keen to expand involvement in Defence-related training programs.

"The wide skill set and experiences these men gained in this program can open many new doors," Professor Glover said.

Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon said it was a fine achievement.

“The program has given the inaugural 10 graduates a solid foundation for their future civilian employment as well as careers serving in the Army Reserve as part of NORFORCE.”

Mr Combet said: “These students have demonstrated a high level of skill, commitment and enthusiasm to complete the DIDP course. I encourage other Indigenous adults to apply for future DIDP courses.”

The DIDP is a joint initiative between the Department of Defence, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training.