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November 7, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
Performance Group paid
tribute to the contribution
of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islanders to the RAN during the
International Fleet Review and high-
lighted the strength of family.
Most of the group's 20 performers
joined the Navy after hearing about
the career opportunities from family
When ABBM William Mabo heard
about his brother's adventures con-
ducting Operation Resolute border
protection patrols on board HMAS
Bundaberg, he had no hesitation sign-
"I joined the Navy because of all
the awesome stories my big brother
told me after he came back home for a
visit," AB Mabo said.
"He told me many exciting stories
about being at sea and serving the
nation, which helped me to quickly
decide that I wanted a piece of that."
AB Mabo, of FSU, has come a long
way since joining the Navy.
"I have really enjoyed the Navy
so far, with my career highlight being
posted to HMAS Armidale and doing
the kind of border protection tasks that
inspired me to join in the first place,"
His brother, ABBM Kaleb Cohen, of
HMAS Cairns, joined in 2006 to escape
the limited opportunities in his small
community and to travel the world.
"I started a boilermaker pre-appren-
ticeship course but decided to chuck
that in and join the Navy because of
the career opportunities and rewards,"
"I really wanted to travel and the
Navy was the best option for me."
The tall ship South Passage's
arrival at Darling Harbour also enabled
ABBM Jorde Lenoy reunited with
his uncle, FLTSGT Donald Taylor,
who was part of South Passage's crew.
"My uncle played a key role in
AUSTRALIAN singer Jessica
Mauboy and Channel Nine pre-
senter Richard Wilkins were on
hand to meet indigenous sailors
when the tall ship South Passage
berthed in Sydney during the
International Fleet Review.
Director Indigenous Policy and
Plans CMDR Chris Curtis said
the celebrities jumped at the op-
portunity to come and say hello.
"Jessica Mauboy embraced
three of our new indigenous
recruits like they were long lost
sisters," he said.
Recruits Josephine Jonsson,
Franceen Ketchell, Olive Tamwoy,
Thomas Pau and Trey Norway all
graduated from the Defence In-
digenous Development Program
(DIDP) in September and quali-
fied for entry into the Navy.
They spoke about sailing the
tall ship from Brisbane and their
impending start at Recruit School.
The idea of having an indig-
enous ship at the IFR came from
three sailors at last year's De-
fence Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Network conference.
"Since then a great deal of
work was completed to bring the
DIDP graduates, serving mem-
bers and South Passage together
to realise this idea," CMDR Curtis
South Passage hosted mem-
bers of Navy's Indigenous Per-
formance Group for a sail on the
harbour where the new recruits
showed the old hands just how it
"The recruits had everyone
hoisting sail and tacking their way
up the harbour," CMDR Curtis said.
(L-R) RCT Thomas
Pau, RCT Jacob
Schy, RCT Taylor
CPO Trevor Maybir,
RCT Trey Norway,
Olive Tamwoy, WO
Mark Donolan and
Photo: Rana Cobbin
Recruits dazzle star visitors
Family bonds on display
getting me into the military, to pursue
new opportunities," AB Lenoy said.
FLTSGT Taylor, of 23SQN, has
served for three decades in the Air
Force and is happy to see indigenous
youth following in his footsteps.
"When we see these young kids
come through and they are looking up
at us as role models, then we know we
are reaping the rewards of a previous
generations' hard work," he said.
FLTSGT Taylor was inspired to
join by his father, who was a national
serviceman during the Korean War.
"But before that we had relatives
in WWI and WWII, so Defence has
always been part of our family his-
tory," he said.
Cousins RCT Trey Norway and
ABBM Kyh Mye also reconnected
during South Passage's visit.
When RCT Norway grew bored
with his civilian job, he sought advice
from his cousin about joining the Navy.
"My cousin had a huge influence
on me joining the Navy," he said.
AB Mye, of HMAS Tobruk,
encouraged him to join the Defence
Indigenous Development Program
(DIDP), which enables candidates to
meet ADF recruitment standards.
"Trey was disillusioned with his
career path as an electrician when he
came to visit me in Cairns," he said.
RCT Norway said the DIDP and
the Navy seemed like a good option
because he didn't want a boring job.
"I wanted an adventurous job that
had a lot of excitement as well as
career opportunities and rewards," he
"I owe a bit to my cousin, because
he told me all about being in the Navy,
and even faxed me the application
form for the DIDP."
RCT Norway graduated from the
DIDP on September 10 and started his
training at Recruit School at HMAS
Cerberus on October 14.
"The DIDP was really helpful pre-
paring me to meet the entry criteria,"
"The skills you are supposed to
develop at recruit school you already
have because of the program."
Director Indigenous Policy and Plans
CMDR Chris Curtis said the DIDP was
so successful that a rejuvenated program
would be launched next year.
"Next year the DIDP in Cairns
will be run by Navy and it will host
two courses of 20 candidates for five
months each," he said.
The candidates will do a three-
week boot camp at Cerberus, followed
by a week in Sydney to understand
"After that, we will match their
aspirations with their ability and then
we will train for the gap. We will train
for what they can expect to achieve,"
CMDR Curtis said.
The 16 weeks that follow will
be conducted in Cairns and include
academic and practical training
with TAFE and Great Barrier Reef
International Marine College.
The full-time live-in course will
also have a strong emphasis on fitness
From the DIDP, successful candi-
dates will complete the full 11-week
recruit training at Cerberus.
Navy celebrates its indigenous members as a close bond is highlighted, Michael Brooke reports.
ALL TOGETHER: The Navy Indigenous
Performance Group welcomes tall ship South
Passage (left) as FLTSGT Donald Taylor and
nephew ABBM Jorde Lenoy are reunited on
Photos: ABIS Chantell Bianchi
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