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Indigenous Australians readied for Defence.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel THE HON. JENNY MACKLIN MP Minister for Indigenous Affairs

THE HON. BRENDAN O’CONNOR Minister for Employment Participation

www.defence.gov.au

Monday, 2 March 2009 028/2009

INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS READIED FOR DEFENCE

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP and the Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon. Brendan O’Connor MP, today announced the start of the Defence Indigenous Pre Recruitment Course (IPRC) in Newcastle, NSW.

Mr Snowdon said the Defence Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course is one of the early initiatives to be rolled out from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Indigenous Employment Strategy.

“The 20 Indigenous trainees now start an eight week course that will help them not only prepare for an ADF career, but will serve them in any future venture,” said Mr Snowdon.

During the course, trainees will visit Defence establishments in Newcastle, Singleton, Sydney, Canberra and Wagga Wagga, and will undertake training in motivation, discipline, physical fitness, communication and skills to live away from home.

Ms Macklin said one of the highlights of the course is the five day Indigenous Leadership Program in Canberra which develops participants’ strengths, and communication skills.

“This course forms part of the Government’s commitment to making progress on the Government’s aim of halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade,” Ms Macklin said.

Mr O’Connor said the first course in Townsville last year was a great success.

“Two participants from the original course are now Army recruits currently training at Kapooka and another seven are in the recruiting process. I am confident that the Newcastle IPRC will result in similar positive employment results.”

Through the cooperation of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Department of Defence, the Australian Government has provided more than $300,000 towards the eight week course.

Media contacts: Luke Toy (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0409 076 576 Tallis Richmond (Brendan O’Connor): 02 6277 7630 or 0407 509 142 Jessica Walker (Jenny Macklin): 02 6277 7560 or 0430 166 633 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664