My culture, your culture, our culture

The Australian International Airshow 23 (AIA23) has been showcasing a plethora of aircraft from all over the globe as well as celebrating the people and culture of the Royal Australian Air Force and its friends.

CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officer, Flight Lieutenant Micheal Naawi promotes cultural awareness to Master Sergeant Jonathan Cowan (middle) and Master Sergeant Marcello Lindo of the United States Air Force during the Australian International Airshow 2023 at Avalon. Story by Flying Officer Shan Arachchi Galappatthy. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.

Flight Lieutenant Micheal Naawi is a Torres Strait Islander who represents the Air Force as an Indigenous Liaison Officer.

He delivered a cultural awareness presentation to military members of both the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and the United States Pacific Air Force.

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CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officer, Flight Lieutenant Micheal Naawi promotes cultural awareness to Major Sakurawo Ishikawa of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force during the Australian International Airshow 2023 at Avalon. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.

“As a proud First Nation member in Defence I have an opportunity to showcase my culture within the organisation and now it’s great to highlight and showcase it to an international audience,” Flight Lieutenant Naawi said.

“I was lucky enough to see their culture and it feels great to showcase mine.”

His audience appreciated receiving the insight into Australia’s different cultures.

“It is important to recognise that there is not one example of a First Nation individual,” Flight Lieutenant Naawi said.

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CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officer, Flight Lieutenant Micheal Naawi promotes cultural awareness to Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Wii and Lieutenant Colonel Eddie Miro of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force during the Australian International Airshow 2023 at Avalon. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.

The traditional values and customs from one area of Australia may differ significantly from another and awareness of cultural differences can guide and strengthen respect and relationships within communities.

“We showcased First Nation artefacts, discussed the history about how we as First Nations used to live and how we transition into life today,” Flight Lieutenant Naawi said.

“As members of the Air Force, we can be located all around the country and even around the globe. Recognising and appreciating the customs, values and culture of the people you are working alongside makes us better global citizens.

“I’m grateful for the time I had to speak to people around Avalon. If they take one thing away from our chat and pass it on in conversation, then I know I’ve done a good job.”

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CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officer, Flight Lieutenant Micheal Naawi promotes cultural awareness to First Lieutenant Heegong Kim and First Lieutenant Sungmin Kim of the Republic of Korea Air Force during the Australian International Airshow 2023 at Avalon. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Kate Czerny.


 
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