Home' Navy News : June 6th 2013 Contents 4 NEWS
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS June 6, 2013
LSIS Helen Frank
TWO different flags flew from the
masts in Field Marshal Sir Thomas
Blamey Square in Canberra from May
27 to June 3.
Between the Australian National
flag and the ADF ensign, the colours
of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait
Islander flags could be seen.
These flags were raised for
National Reconciliation Week in a tra-
dition, started in 2011 by CDF GEN
David Hurley, that pays tribute to the
important role indigenous people play
OCDT Thomas Boase gave the
inaugural Defence keynote address
for the week, titled ‘Let’s Talk
OCDT Boase is a Wakka Wakka
man from Brisbane and is in his
third year of study and military train-
ing at the Australian Defence Force
He began his address by asking the
audience to take a moment to privately
acknowledge the traditional owners of
the land they were gathered on, a land
revered by the oldest continuing cul-
ture in the world.
After a short moment of silence,
fellow ADFA trainee MIDN Douglas
Wells played the didgeridoo.
OCDT Boase spoke about what
recognition meant to him in a passion-
ate address where the emotion could
be heard in his voice as he spoke of his
“So, exactly what do we mean by
recognition?” he asked.
“Tasmanian Aboriginal singer-
songwriter Dewayne Everettsmith
expressed it this way recently:
‘Recognition is acknowledgement.
Acknowledgement is respect. Respect
gives you a sense of belonging and
“My Aunty Betty told me recog-
nition was about breaking down the
barriers so everyone can sit around the
table and heal.
“Army teaches me about force
multipliers and, while flying the flags
might be a relatively simple thing to
do, it is a tremendously important ges-
ture of recognition – and that message
has a profound impact all those who
“To me, these initiatives are very
healthy and clear signs that our
Defence leaders are serious about rec-
LSIS Helen Frank
MIDN Douglas Wells would like to use
National Reconciliation Week as an
opportunity to educate other indigenous
Australians about the career options in
“I see Reconciliation Week as a time
where we can strive for an environment
where anyone can pursue the career they
dream of,” MIDN Wells said.
“I hope that if young, indigenous
people see me here in the Defence Force,
I can inspire them to join or even just to
follow any career path they wish.”
National Reconciliation Week is
celebrated across Australia each year
between May 27 and June 3.
The two dates commemorate mile-
stones in the Australian reconciliation
journey – the anniversaries of the suc-
cessful 1967 referendum and the High
Court Mabo decision.
resounds in capital
Following in his father’s footsteps,
MIDN Wells joined Navy in 2011.
He is in his second year of study
toward his Electrical Engineering degree
His family lives on the Sunshine
Coast but he also has family in Walgett
NSW and, through his mother’s heritage,
he is a Kamilaroi man.
MIDN Wells was invited to play his
didgeridoo at the inaugural Defence
Keynote Address in Canberra.
He is self-taught and has been play-
ing since he was seven when his Aunty
Coral gave him a didgeridoo that she
made for him.
It was on this instrument that he
played a short, reflective piece based on
the sounds of a dingo.
Navy Strategic Adviser for
Indigenous Cultural Affairs CPO Ray
Rosendale said he felt proud as MIDN
“I feel pride at the knowledge that we
are changing our military culture for the
better,” CPO Ray Rosendale said.
“Pride, that these are strong, young
people who are proud of both their indig-
enous and military identity. They are
leading us towards a better future.
“The ADF has taken bold steps
over the last few years. Our leader-
ship is committed to a diverse and
inclusive workplace and has made
the hard decisions that will place
the ADF at the forefront of the
Government’s Closing the Gap
MIDN Douglas Wells,
of ADFA, plays the
didgeridoo at the
Week Keynote Address
Photo: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham
ADF flies the flag
ognition – it’s about properly recognis-
ing the contribution of the indigenous
members in our broader Defence fam-
Following the address, OCDT
Boase and MIDN Wells were con-
gratulated by CN VADM Ray Griggs
and MAJ Melissa Campbell pre-
sented OCDT Boase with an Army
Indigenous Commemorative Coin on
behalf of CA LTGEN David Morrison.
Defence celebrated National
Reconciliation Week by holding com-
memorative services, presentations
and workshops nationally covering the
theme ‘Reconciliation – what else can
The initiative was designed to
introduce further thinking regarding
our civilian and military indigenous
PROUD MOMENT: OCDT Tom Boase,
of ADFA, delivers the keynote address
(above) for National Reconciliation Week
in Canberra. Inset, MIDN Douglas Wells
poses for a photo with CN VADM Ray
Photos: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham
Links Archive May 23rd 2013 June 20th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page