Far from her life growing up on a farm in Mackay, Recruit Shyndalia Woosup is one of 17 recruits who graduated from the Navy Indigenous Development Program (NIDP) last month.
Hearing about the program from her sister serving in the RAN, Recruit Woosup knew she had to give the program a go.
As an Angamuthi and Wakamin woman, she is very close to her roots.
“I know my mob and I am very proud of where I am from and my culture. I knew I had to get on NIDP and so glad I did,” Recruit Woosup said.
The NIDP has a foundation grounded in naval tradition, values and behaviours, something Recruit Woosup said she initially found hard to settle into.
“It wasn’t easy at times, the routine and military life, but the program has taught me so much,” she said.
NIDP enables recruits to complete a contextualised year 10 maths and English course through TAFE Queensland. They are introduced to military life and take part in cultural immersion days with Indigenous Elders to greater appreciate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture.
Recruit Woosup said she enjoyed the traditional dancing but reflecting on graduation day, she realised that was a small part of what the program gave her.
“I have become stronger and more resilient. A month ago I realised I actually found myself and know what I can achieve now. I have direction and want to continue to develop,” Recruit Woosup said.
“I needed to get out of my comfort zone. It’s easy to stay in your bubble at home, but people need to realise what else is out there.
“We had a visit from school students from remote communities in the Northern Territory and were able to show them what NIDP is about.
“I realised I am a role model for them and that was a great feeling.”