Bold Eagle And Australian Defence Force Indigenous Recruitment

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18th July 2008, 11:23am - Views: 976

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Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Friday, 18 July 2008




One works in ice and the other in the tropics, but the Minister for Defence Science

and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, says Canada’s northern rangers and

Australia’s Regional Force Surveillance Units have a lot in common and a lot to teach

regarding Indigenous Defence recruitment.

Mr Snowdon this week visited the Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, and Joint Task

Force North at Yellowknife, 400km south of the Arctic Circle, to study Canada’s

experience recruiting and retaining Indigenous Defence personnel.

“I recently launched the Australian Defence Force’s Indigenous Recruitment

Strategy, which is designed to support opportunities for Indigenous Australians to

engage in Defence employment,” Mr Snowdon said.

“It has been fascinating and useful this week to discuss and compare with the

Canadian Forces such lessons as the importance of community engagement and

ownership, cultural and spiritual recognition, and utilising current Defence Force

Indigenous personnel as spokespeople.”

While at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, Minister Snowdon observed Exercise

Bold Eagle.  The exercise gives young people of native heritage an opportunity to

experience military life as part of a six-week summer training and employment

program that combines military training and Aboriginal cultural awareness.

“This program has been running for 16 years and is strongly supported by the

Indigenous communities.  Not only has it been a great success for Canadian Forces

Indigenous Recruitment, but it educates young people about Defence while teaching

leadership and valuable life skills.

“The importance of showing all young people, but particularly young Indigenous

people, the opportunities that the Defence Force offers, was made very clear.”

The Minister is now in the US for meetings with officials to discuss Australia-US

Defence science and technology cooperation.

Media contacts:

Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon):

02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Defence Media Liaison:

02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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