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New indigenous Cadet units opened in the Northern Territory.



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MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. Fran Bailey, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

PARLSEC 35/03 5 May 2003

NEW INDIGENOUS CADET UNITS OPENED IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Fran Bailey MP, will formally open two new Australian Defence Force (ADF) Cadet units in the Northern Territory this week.

The new Australian Army Cadet (AAC) Units located at Bathurst Island just north of Darwin and Wadeye (formerly known as Port Keats) some 250 kms south-west of Darwin, are part of a Commonwealth initiative to make participation in Cadets more accessible to young people from Indigenous communities.

‘Twelve months ago, the Commonwealth Government created a project aimed at encouraging and supporting Indigenous youth participation in Cadet programs,’ said Ms Bailey.

‘The formal establishment of the Tiwi Islands Platoon on 6 May is the result of months of effort by the local community, NORFORCE, and the AAC. At Wadeye, where I will be on 7 May, community organisations are again strongly supporting this great new initiative,’ Ms Bailey said.

Ms Bailey said she is constantly impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the Cadets and the wider community.

‘I am pleased that the Government’s initiative in creating these Cadet units is providing meaningful opportunities for young people that will help them to contribute positively to their communities now and into the future,’ Ms Bailey said.

Over half a million dollars has been committed to help increase Indigenous participation in the Australian Defence Force Cadets in three pilot projects in the Northern Territory, Northern Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Cadets offer young people the chance to take part in activities that help them develop a self-image and confidence and provide a real alternative source of adventurous fun for youngsters between the ages of twelve and a half and eighteen.

For vision and stills of the Parliamentary Secretary’s visit to the Tiwi Islands and Wadeye please call CAPT John McPherson on 0416 257 454, or visit Ms Bailey’s website at www.minister.defence.gov.au/BAILEY/media.cfm

To interview Ms Bailey in Darwin on her return from Bathurst Island at 3.00pm, please contact Devena Wahlstrum on 0408 404 468