From dancing with his people to dancing for his people, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Corey Hardy is proud to be representing indigenous culture in the Navy.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Corey Hardy on board HMAS Choules during the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter first of class flight trails. Story and photo by Able Seaman Rikki-Lea Phillips.
Joining the Navy in August 2019, Able Seaman Hardy served in a number of ships before posting to HMAS Choules. He joined as he wanted something better for himself and wanted to travel the world.
Able Seaman Hardy is an Aboriginal Tiwi Islander and has been an Indigenous dancer since he was eight. He continues his passion for dance in the Navy.
“I grew up in Eden, NSW, which is Yuin country, and was brought up by the Dhawa people, so I am a proud Tiwi-Yuin man,” he said.
Being a part of the Bungaree Dance Mob for the Navy has given Able Seaman Hardy the opportunity to perform at the Sea Power Conference in Sydney and open a statue in the Brisbane Royal War Museum, with hopes of many more experiences to come.
“I think it’s good that the Navy has respected and honoured the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Defence Force and we are able to dance and show our culture,” he said.
“I went to Arnhem Land and was given a skin name of ‘Bürralung’ by a famous aboriginal painter, an elder of Baniyala NT Djambawa Marawili, so when I travel around Australia and speak to elders or other aboriginal people I go by Bürralung.”
As a boatswains mate, Able Seaman Hardy’s day-to-day jobs could include being bridge look out, steering the ship, rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) evolutions, boarding party member, handling weapons or whole-ship evolutions such as damage control.
He enjoys the adrenaline rush and his favourite things are being in the RHIB and shooting weapons.
“I enjoy the people at sea. You learn many different walks of life and it doesn’t matter whether you are rich, poor or what colour you are because at the end of the day we are all here and we are all one.”
HMAS Choules has been conducting first-of-class flight trials with the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and will soon return to her home port of Garden Island, Sydney, where Able Seaman Hardy will spend time with friends and family.
“I am looking forward to getting home and seeing my partner, and my best friend with a young baby, who I am really excited to meet.”