Indigenous youths get a taste of life in the Navy

One of the Defence Work Experience Program participants, Jada Brown, tries on firefighting equipment with the help of Able Seaman Aviation Support Emma Stewart during a tour of HMAS Albatross.

Indigenous youths get a taste of life in the Navy

A group of Indigenous Australian youths have explored life in the Navy during a three-day work experience program at HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell on Australia’s south coast.

As part of the inaugural Indigenous Navy Aviation Overview work experience placement, seven high school students with an interest in a Defence career toured a range of different sites at the two bases in July, and gained hands-on experience as they discovered numerous different career pathways.

The group inspected the MRH-90 helicopters at 808 Squadron, saw the Helicopter Aircrew Training System, and learnt about Navy’s newest squadron, 822X, and the unmanned aircraft systems they operate. They were also given first-hand experience of MH-60R Seahawk aircrew training simulators.

The students visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the armoury, the aviation training section, Albatross Health Centre, the airfield tower and meteorological sections and the Naval Aviation Sea Survival Centre.

A visit to Creswell for physical training activities allowed them to experience the challenges of Navy training, with several participants showing great determination to complete the overwater obstacle course.

Program coordinator Petty Officer Phil Black was pleased to highlight the broad range of career opportunities available in the Navy.

“The inaugural Indigenous Navy Aviation Overview work experience placement was a unique opportunity for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to get a taste of what life in Defence is like,” Petty Officer Black said.

“From a Navy and Albatross perspective, our partnership with the work experience team provides for some fantastic opportunities for students to come onto base, engage with Defence personnel and see first-hand, the range of assets and daily activities of a fully operational base.”

The youngsters also had the opportunity to hear real experiences of Indigenous Navy members.

The visit reinforced the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women and reaffirmed Defence’s commitment to attract young Indigenous Australians to a career in the Australian Defence Force.

The activity was one of many provided by the Defence Work Experience Program that runs throughout the year.

The popular program gives more than 2000 high school students each year the opportunity to experience the broad range of career options on offer with the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Public Service.

For more information about the program and to apply for upcoming activities, visit

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