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December 6, 2012
PO Shaun McCarthy
AS WE count down the days until
the Christmas leave period, no
doubt many of you will be load-
ing up the cars and trailers to
head off on a Christmas road trip.
Those of you with children
will have your nerves and sanity
put to the test, braving the open
roads with the words "Are we
there yet?" ringing in your ears.
The following advice is
offered to help ensure you and
your passengers survive the jour-
ney in one piece.
Plan ahead, using a map or
GPS to estimate travel time,
plan a route and allow extra
time for unforeseen delays.
Stop and take a 15-minute rest
every two hours and share the
driving when possible.
Consider points of interest to
stop at along the way and pack
food and drinks to encourage
Make sure you are well rested
before setting off and allow suf-
ficient time to sleep along the
Pack "boredom beaters" to
keep the children entertained.
Give your vehicle a safety
check before leaving.
If you're towing a boat, trailer
or caravan ensure all towing
checks are conducted before
leaving and regularly during
Look out for the driver reviver
signs on the highway. The dis-
tinctive coffee cup logo means
you're just minutes away from
a break and free refreshments.
During peak holiday periods
it's important to be patient as
there is likely to be extra traf-
fic on the road.
Leave plenty of time to get to
your destination -- it's better to
arrive safely and late than not
Wear your seat belt and regu-
larly check that children are
wearing their belts.
Don't speed -- the faster you
drive, the longer it takes to stop.
A fine could also put a serious
dent in your holiday budget.
Many of you will enjoy a few
drinks with friends and family.
Drink responsibly and remem-
ber the decision is simple --
drink OR drive.
In Navy we have a number
of measures in place, aimed at
safeguarding our most valuable
resource -- our people.
While everyone is encouraged
to enjoy themselves and make
the most of the Christmas period,
don't turn your back on the wis-
dom service life has given you.
Put safety first
CPL Mark Doran
TWENTY-four graduates from the
2012 Defence Indigenous Development
Program (DIDP) have applied to become
full-time members of the ADF with 16
applying for Navy.
Forty-four indigenous Australians
graduated at ceremonies in Cairns and
Katherine on November 13.
The graduates completed a seven-
month residential program to provide
young Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander adults with the life skills and
confidence to secure opportunities and
sustain continuous employment of their
They combined studies in literacy,
numeracy, Year 10 subjects and TAFE
certificate-level studies with military
skills and familiarisation.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon congratulated
the graduates at the ceremonies.
"I'm honoured to congratulate them
on their achievement, and to meet with
the many proud parents and elders who
travelled great distances to see their
young people graduate," he said.
"I've no doubt that, through their
determination and hard work, these grad-
uates will become role models for others
in their communities."
The graduates are preparing to follow
a variety of career options.
Some will continue to serve as
reserve members of 51FNQR and
Norforce while they pursue full-time
DIDP graduate Shannon Coates has
WITH PRIDE: Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon
congratulates DIDP graduate Billyrae MacGregor at the graduation ceremony
Photo: Brian Cassey
applied to join Navy and said the pro-
gram had changed him. "It's changed
how I look at myself," he said.
"I'm fitter and have more confidence,
and I'm looking forward to an exciting
career in Defence."
Mercedes Hudson is also aiming for
a Navy career and said the program had
helped her realise her potential.
"I now realise that I have potential --
eight months ago, I didn't know what to
do with my life," she said.
"With the encouragement of others, I
know I can aim a lot higher than what I
would have thought when I left school."
Planning for the 2013 program is under way.
Defence will call for nominations in February
2013. For information contact DIDP on 1800
447 827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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