After five months of hard work and dedication, course 15’s Navy Indigenous Development Program (NIDP) graduated in front of their friends, family and the community at Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns, on June 24.

Officer in Charge NIDP Commander Mark Tandy said the focus of the program was development. 

“To be able to graduate these men and women in the community for the first time and invite everyone along to join us is a great milestone for the program,” Commander Tandy said.  

“With the support of Cairns Council and others we have been able to accomplish something special for everyone involved.” 

All eyes were on the 17 recruits as Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Chris Smith reviewed the parade for dress and bearing, something now so familiar to the recruits. 

For Recruit Keyarna Baker, her perfectly pressed Navy uniform will be changed for her new work uniform as she graduates and starts a job with Sydney Ferries. 

She said the program enabled her to overcome her fears.

“The program has changed me; I’m so much more confident and I’m looking forward to the next chapter,” Recruit Baker said.

“I do still have a dream to join the Navy, but for now I want to continue to grow.”

Aligned with the National Closing the Gap Strategy, these young graduates now have crucial skills enabling greater employability. 

Eight will now commence basic training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria and two are continuing to Far North Queensland Regiment’s 51st Battalion. 

One is pursuing a police career, two will continue further education through university in science and nursing and aim to return to Navy.

For the remainder, like recruit Baker, they have confidently begun the search for further employment. 

For more information about the NIDP contact Defence Force Recruiting.

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