Home' Navy News : March 14th 2013 Contents 09
March 14, 2013
CN VADM Ray Griggs has introduced
a new role within Navy specifically
designed to advise him on how to
attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander officers and
CPONPC Ray Rosendale was
appointed to the position of Strategic
Adviser on Indigenous Cultural Affairs
after CN signed an instrument of
appointment on January 29.
CPONPC Rosendale will provide
CN with advice on how to build on
Navy’s solid track record of respecting
and engaging with indigenous culture.
VADM Griggs said CPONPC
Rosendale always brought a range of
terrific ideas to the table.
“This role is critical to Navy bet-
ter understanding indigenous issues,
and to attracting a retaining indigenous
members of Navy,” he said.
Director Recruiting Management
Navy CMDR Chris Curtis said there
were four key components to Navy’s
“First, we fully support the
Defence Reconciliation Plan and we
work closely with Army, Air Force
and Defence People Group to achieve
whole-of-Defence outcomes for indig-
enous people,” he said.
“Second, we recognise Navy has
a special part to play in recognising
our sea people and their heritage. It
is important that we understand that
our maritime heritage goes back many
thousands of years with the indigenous
peoples who have hunted, lived and
travelled in our maritime environment
long before there were ships exploring
“Third, Navy acknowledges the
contribution, past and present, of
indigenous serving and supporting per-
sonnel and we encourage their formal
self-identification on PMKeyS because
it shows pride in their service and their
“The last part of the strategy is
to strengthen our relationship and
engagement with indigenous commu-
nities to showcase that we are a good
neighbour and a great career choice.”
CMDR Curtis said that key ini-
tiatives such as the ADF Indigenous
Pre-Recruitment Course and Navy
support to the Defence Indigenous
Development Program were an impor-
tant part of Navy’s ongoing indigenous
“The strength of our indigenous
programs are that they are participa-
tory and there is something in them for
everyone, whether they are seeking a
naval career or simply a learning expe-
rience,” he said.
Director Indigenous Affairs Lisa
Phelps said she was encouraged by the
creation of the new position.
“CPONPC Rosendale is a welcome
addition to our new diversity round
table and I am confident his experi-
ence, commitment and extensive net-
works will hold him in good stead as
he establishes himself in his new role,”
For more information on indigenous affairs
POCIS Samuel Sheppard and LSCIS
Lateika Smith work within Defence
Force Recruiting (DFR) and are
proud of their heritage and the new
POCIS Samuel Sheppard iden-
tifies as a Muluridji man from
Mareeba in Queensland and is the
Indigenous Recruitment Officer at
He joined Navy in 1999 and
joined the Directorate of Indigenous
Affairs team last year.
He said he loved his job and wel-
comed the appointment of CPO Ray
Rosendale as the first Indigenous
Cultural Adviser to the CN.
“I see this billet as a great focal
point for indigenous sailors. It’s an
important post that I will aspire to
myself,” POCIS Sheppard said.
“I love what I do because I can
provide awareness of what ADF and
Navy has to offer indigenous job-
These sentiments are shared by
LSCIS Smith was born and raised
in Nambucca Heads and identifies
culturally with the Gumbaynggirr
After joining Navy in 2004 at
Newcastle, LSCIS Smith has been
working with the Careers Promotions
Team at DFR in Parramatta since
LSCIS Smith said she thought
indigenous employment disadvantage
was a real problem in Australia and
she was happy her role allowed her
to contribute by working to increase
indigenous numbers in the ADF.
“The work is very rewarding as I
get to explain why I am proud to be
a sailor in the Navy and how other
people can join too,” she said.
“I especially enjoy engaging with
other indigenous Australians about
what Navy can offer.”
She felt a sense of pride when she
heard about the new position.
“I understand this will be an
ongoing appointment and I feel proud
as it is a practical and very public
way of showing indigenous affairs
is important at the highest level in
Navy,” LSCIS Smith said.
CN launches inspiring role
PROUD MOMENT: CN VADM Ray Griggs appoints CPONPC Ray Rosendale as Navy’s Indigenous Adviser
based at HMAS Cairns.
Photo: POIS Ollie Garside
Q&A with CPONPC Rosendale
Q: Can you tell me about your story?
A: I am a member of the Western
Sunset Clan of the Gugu Yalanji peo-
ple. My traditional lands are in the
areas surrounding the Palmer River,
Laura and Mossman in Far North
Queensland. I joined Navy mid-1991
and over the course of my career
have been posted to ships and
establishments around the country.
I have been lucky to serve several
times in the Far North at HMAS
Cairns. I am extremely proud of both
my indigenous and Navy heritage.
Q: How did you feel when you were
appointed into your new role?
A: My initial reaction was a mixture
of excitement, pride and a strong
sense of the responsibility that
comes with this appointment.
Q: What do you see as your key pri-
A: My priorities are fivefold:
To generate new ideas for Navy
engagement with indigenous com-
munities across Australia. I like the
new approach for community engage-
ment that is being shaped by the
Directorate of Indigenous Affairs (DIA)
because those ideas are immediately
applicable to Navy.
To identify any Defence policies or
procedures that might be culturally
unattractive to the employment and
retention of Aboriginal or Torres Strait
To provide CN with ideas on how to
enhance the involvement of Australia’s
indigenous communities in Navy’s cel-
ebrations of national military identity.
This relates to the first priority, and
I see some immediate linkages with
Anzac Day and NAIDOC week.
To promote awareness and apprecia-
tion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander culture and participation
within Navy. Our culture is an impor-
tant part of our national narrative,
but it also adds to Defence capability.
The CDF and Secretary made this
point clear in their forward to the new
To engage our indigenous sailors
and officers in culturally appropriate
ceremonial and representative duties.
We have so many positive indigenous
role models in Navy and we need to
Q: How does your appointment link
with the Pathway to Change?
A: My appointment is part of New
Generation Navy (NGN), which is
the mechanism we use in Navy to
deliver on Defence’s broader cul-
tural change program – Pathway to
Q: Do you see self-identification of
indigenous heritage as impor-
tant? If so why?
A: Yes, it’s very important to demon-
strate that Navy is a diverse and cul-
turally accepting employer. It is also
important for Navy to know that I am
proud to be an indigenous officer or
sailor and that Navy is proud of me
and the important part I play in the
defence of our nation.
Q: How can Navy attract, recruit and
retain more indigenous officers
A: Navy must be at the forefront of
community engagement and fol-
low the principles of NGN. This will
ensure Defence, and Navy in par-
ticular, are seen as an employer of
choice within the community. I will
also be working closely with DIA
and I welcome my recent invitation
to be a part of the Defence diversity
round table meetings. I think the key
to enlisting more sailors and officers
is to effectively transmit a clear mes-
sage about our world-class career
opportunities. This requires close
cooperation between Navy, DIA and
Defence Force Recruiting to get the
message out there. Another vital
element is to continue supporting
the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment
Courses and the Defence
Indigenous Development Programs.
CPONPC Rosendale can be contacted at
Pride and excitement
over new appointment
AT WORK: LSCIS Lateika Smith (left) and POCIS Samuel Sheppard (right) love their jobs in Defence Force
Recruiting working to promote indigenous employment.
Photos: ABIS Jesse Rhynard and ABIS Jayson Tufrey
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