NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for Australians to recognise the rich history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy’s inaugural Indigenous cultural performer, Able Seaman Aviation Support Lynton Robbins plays the yidaki/didgeridoo at Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney. Photo by Able Seaman Susan Mossop.
This year’s theme for the event, held from July 3-10, is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’.
Defence recognises the rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel in getting up, standing up and showing up in the defence of our nation during times of peace and war.
Deputy Secretary of Security and Estate Group and Defence Indigenous Champion, Celia Perkins, said Defence was grateful to Defence Indigenous members past and present, and was honoured to raise awareness of NAIDOC Week.
“In my role as Defence Indigenous Champion, I am committed to ensuring Defence builds on our strong relationships with Indigenous community groups, organisations and individuals to enrich our cultural awareness as an organisation,” Ms Perkins said.
Outgoing Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld reflected on his time as a Defence Indigenous Champion.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women have guarded, cared for and have been watching over the land, waters, skies and stars of our country for a millennia. We honour their service to this nation in times of peace and war,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
“As we continue to build on our story of providing for the security of this land, I say to all past, present, and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of Defence, thank you for your care and protection of this country.
“During my tenure as champion, I have had the responsibility and privilege to highlight the importance of building an inclusive and diverse Defence Force; always engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to build knowledge, trust and understanding of our respective cultures.
“I encourage all to continue fostering an inclusive and diverse One-Defence culture, where all our people can bring their best to the capabilities that we need in Defence.”