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Bold Eagle and Australian Defence Force Indigenous recruitment.

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Minister for Defence Media Mail List ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, 18 July 08 094/2008


One works in ice and the other in the tropics, but the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, says Canada’s northern rangers and Australia’s Regional Force Surveillance Units have a lot in common and a lot to teach regarding Indigenous Defence recruitment.

Mr Snowdon this week visited the Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, and Joint Task Force North at Yellowknife, 400km south of the Arctic Circle, to study Canada’s experience recruiting and retaining Indigenous Defence personnel.

“I recently launched the Australian Defence Force’s Indigenous Recruitment Strategy, which is designed to support opportunities for Indigenous Australians to engage in Defence employment,” Mr Snowdon said.

“It has been fascinating and useful this week to discuss and compare with the Canadian Forces such lessons as the importance of community engagement and ownership, cultural and spiritual recognition, and utilising current Defence Force Indigenous personnel as spokespeople.”

While at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, Minister Snowdon observed Exercise Bold Eagle. The exercise gives young people of native heritage an opportunity to experience military life as part of a six-week summer training and employment program that combines military training and Aboriginal cultural awareness.

“This program has been running for 16 years and is strongly supported by the Indigenous communities. Not only has it been a great success for Canadian Forces Indigenous Recruitment, but it educates young people about Defence while teaching leadership and valuable life skills.

“The importance of showing all young people, but particularly young Indigenous people, the opportunities that the Defence Force offers, was made very clear.”

The Minister is now in the US for meetings with officials to discuss Australia-US Defence science and technology cooperation.

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel


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