Newcastle job seekers eye Defence Force career
Twenty-one Indigenous job seekers in the Newcastle region are a step closer to a career with the Australian Defence Forces after graduating today from an eight-week Defence Indigenous Pre Recruitment Course.
During a visit to Newcastle today, the Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor joined graduates at a ceremony.
Mr O’Connor, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin welcomed the start of the Newcastle Defence Indigenous Pre Recruitment Course in March.
“The Defence Force offers a broad range of options for employment and this course has given participants first-hand experience of the types of jobs with the Army, Navy or Air Force they may be interested in pursuing,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The course at Newcastle has already seen positive results with 21 participants completing the course, and I have no doubt the experiences they have had on the course will carry through into their personal and professional lives.”
“Programs such as this are a great example of how the Australian Government is working with Indigenous Australians to close the gap in educational, employment and life outcomes.”
Mr Snowdon said the Newcastle course was the second of three planned courses. The first course in Townsville was successful with two people already in the armed services, with another two currently undergoing training.
“A third course planned for Shepparton in Victoria will give Indigenous people from other parts of Australia the same opportunity,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Representation of Indigenous people in the ADF should and can be higher, and this program provides not only another pathway to ADF service, but improves the partnerships between Defence, the private sector, and other Government Departments in making that a reality.
Ms Macklin said the Australian Government provided more than $300,000 towards the course. Participants visited the Army, RAAF and Naval bases in Newcastle, Singleton, Sydney, Canberra and Wagga Wagga and learned general job preparation skills, health and fitness, financial management, team-building, presentation and grooming.
Participants also attended a five-day Indigenous leadership program in Canberra.
“Projects like this provide participants with support for their next step into a job and also benefits their communities,” Ms Macklin said.