Setting up Indigenous youth for success

Local Indigenous children and teenagers from the Tribal Warrior program conducted a physical fitness training program at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, and discussed their shared values with Army personnel.

CAPTION: Army personnel with youth from the Indigenous Tribal Warrior program at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, NSW. Story by Captain Mike Edwards. Photo by Major Jesse Robilliard.

Participants in the Clean Slate Without Prejudice program – run by Tribal Warrior – visit the barracks every six months.

The chief executive officer of the Redfern-based Tribal Warrior organisation, Shane Phillips, said the visits yielded significant benefits.

“It’s cool because we used to just look in the gate,” Mr Phillips said.

“Now we come and share the Army experiences with our community.”

The Clean Slate Without Prejudice program instils strong values in its participants to broaden their horizons.

“Discipline, routine, safety and respect – they’re the values we’re teaching,” Mr Phillips said.

“And this is what Army is about – getting people to have high expectations for their lives and meeting them.”

Mr Phillips said some of the program’s former members were undertaking Army recruit training at Kapooka.

“I have seen some amazing benefits; being connected to Army inspired them,” he said.

Army has been working with Tribal Warrior since 2014.

Command Indigenous Liaison Officer at Headquarters Forces Command, Major Peter Ross, helps facilitate the visits.

“The Tribal Warrior participants see us in action twice a year, talk to us and we learn something from each other,” Major Ross said.

“The program has been a really great exercise.”

Personnel at the barracks joined the children in their boxing training program.

The visit in November marked the first time cadets from the newly raised 248 Army Cadet Unit City of Sydney (Gadigal) had taken part.

Commanding Officer of the unit that parades at Victoria Barracks, Captain Alan Yeung, said his young cadets got a lot out of the visit.

“The visit is the first time our cadets have engaged in a broader community activity,” Captain Yeung said.

“It took a moment for them to disconnect from the people they know, but once they did – the visit was a great chance to learn other perspectives and experiences.”

The 248 Army Cadet Unit was raised earlier this year but is already proving popular.

“We’re doing really well. We’ve received a lot of applications – more than we can take at this time,” Captain Leung said.





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