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September 3, 2009
By Michael Brooke
HMAS Melbourne (CMDR Allison
Norris) opened her gangway
recently to 25 potential recruits
who came on board as part of
the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment
Course (IPRC) to learn about
exciting career opportunities in the
The visit on board Melbourne
while she was berthed at Fleet Base
East introduced the young indig-
enous Australians to the Navy life-
style and the ADF recruitment proc-
ess.Much to the surprise of the 25
aspiring seaman, they were greeted
by CMDR Norris and several indig-
enous sailors, including ABMT
Nadia Seden from Thursday Island,
who briefed them about the chal-
lenge and rewards of a career in the
ABMT Seden escorted the group
on a comprehensive tour of the
upgraded FFG, which allowed them
to learn about the responsibility of
being a sailor in the RAN, the Navy
lifestyle and the great camaraderie of
being part of a close knit-team com-
mitted to the defence of Australia.
ABMT Seden said many of the
young people asked about Navy dis-
cipline and things like getting home
"I told them I used to get home
sick but I've got so many friends
now that the Navy is like an extend-
ed family," she said.
By Annie Casey
JOINING the RAN as a lateral recruit
was an extremely positive challenge,
according to LCDR Kenneth Marr.
The Lateral Entry program assists in
addressing capability shortfalls within the
Navy that cannot be immediately solved
using Australian personnel.
Formerly a Canadian Navy submarin-
er, LCDR Marr accrued 25 years' service
and already had considerable knowledge
and experience of the RAN from vari-
ous exchange and exercise opportunities
throughout his career.
"There are no significant differences
between the Australian and Canadian
navies. Both have strong camaraderie,
esprit de corps and are a similar size,"
"Pay and conditions are similar and
the tax and financial side is attractive.
"My wife and I had been posted to
England and Hawaii so we were prepared
for a move to a new country. My wife
is a nurse and that's a career that's very
Once they arrived in Australia and he
began working here, LCDR Marr said
there was no big cultural leap to over-
come -- the transition was quite smooth.
LCDR Marr had regular contact with
the Overseas Appointment Cell (OAC) as
it assessed his application through to his
appointment in Perth. The cell is a busy
one-stop shop that fields more than 60
inquiries a month from foreign services
Applications are considered on a
case-by-case basis depending on capa-
bility needs at the time of application,
as well as experience, qualifications
and ease of integration into the Navy.
Those applicants approved for sponsor-
ship are responsible for obtaining their
own permanent resident visa and that of
each dependant family member before
For more information check the website
Centre/overseasApplicants/ or contact the
OAC cell on: 6265 2237.
Course aids enlistment
Several of the IPRC participants
said that the visit to Melbourne had
increased their desire to join the
RAN, with most of them express-
ing interest in becoming clearance
divers or pilots.
Earlier in the week the IPRC
participants had visited HMAS
Albatross (CAPT Mark Sackley)
where they inspected the Helicopter
Underwater Escape Training Facility
and tested their skills on helicopter
simulators, which helped them gain
an understanding of what Navy fly-
ing is all about.
Indigenous affairs recruit-
ment and retention officer WO
Col Watego said the IPRC was an
eight-week course that gave the par-
ticipants life skills, as well as pre-
pared them for the ADF enlistment
He said the course also involved
visits to Defence establishments,
advice on job seeking techniques
and mentoring by serving indige-
nous ADF personnel, as well as apti-
tude, physical and cultural training.
"This program is about providing
opportunities for indigenous men
and women by equipping them with
the skills and tools they need to get
through the enlistment process," he
said.WO Watego said that, even if the
participants eventually decided they
did not want to join the ADF, the
IPRC still equipped them with the
life skills to be role models when
they returned to their communities
with certificates of attainment.
Lateral transfer a
HUMOUR: CPONPC Allen French briefs members from the
Indigenous Pre-Recruitment program aboard Melbourne.
Photo: ABPH Andrew Dakin
ESPRIT DE CORPS: LCDR Ken Marr in his office at the Submarine Group.
Photo: ABPH Lincoln Commane
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