Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Defence Indigenous development program

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
    The Hon. Brendan O'Connor MP, Minister for Employment Participation

Plans for a Defence-led Indigenous Development Program were announced today at the 10th annual Garma festival in the Northern Territory by the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP.

“When I took office it became clear to me that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has the leadership, the training and the infrastructure to build opportunities for Indigenous Australians, while at the same time addressing our national security and Defence needs,” Mr Snowdon said.

“Indigenous men and women have played a significant role in Australia’s military history and they bring incredible community and country connections that support military capability throughout the nation.”

Work is underway to trial a whole-of-government training program, starting in the Katherine area and focusing on technical skills, English literacy and numeracy, personal development, nutrition, financial management, and military skills.

Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor said the planned nine month trial will allow young Indigenous people to gain skills and experiences in a number of different areas that benefit both themselves and their communities.

“By drawing on the strengths and experiences of Indigenous communities, Defence, Land Councils, industry, universities and Government departments and agencies, we have a real opportunity to provide accredited training that will help Indigenous Australians find employment,” Mr O’Connor said.

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said a critical component of the Defence Indigenous Development Program is two-way learning, where Indigenous culture and diversity is respected and incorporated.

“We must all work together to ensure a future that, in partnership with Indigenous Australians, offers genuine employment, and a life of opportunity