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Army Indigenous Development Program

Monday 21 March 2022

Today, students Mr Forbes-Taber’s Year 11 Work Studies course met with training staff from the Education Services International Group (ESI) and 22 Australian Army recruits undertaking the Army Indigenous Development Program (AIDP) at Kapooka. Students learned that the AIDP course, which runs for approximately 16 weeks, is a highly successful, unique and life changing program designed to assist First Nations people to achieve success in the Australian Army. Recruits spoke about Army life and the routine activities they complete to develop essential skills, discipline, confidence and understanding. They spoke about their Indigenous culture and how this is honoured and strengthened within the program and shared an insight into the protocols of the AIDP Yarning Circle – a place where all are equal and individual opinions, thoughts and issues can be shared in a safe and supportive space.

Students heard of the personal adjustments to change the recruits have had to make to ensure they perform to a high standard and develop key skills in literacy and numeracy, teamwork, communication, and problem solving. These challenges included limited contact with family, intense physical training, adopting a healthy diet, living in close quarters and having no access to mobile phones.

Students also learnt that resilience was considered the number one personal characteristic that recruits needed to have to succeed in the Army. Another interesting insight was that the recruits’ favourite weekly activity was to attend church on Sundays, which is in the form of multi-faith service where recruits get quiet time for reflection, including 30 minutes access to their mobile phones, which seemed to be the main drawcard!

ESI training staff Brittany Hancock and Erin Fardell also shared their tips, advice and personal career journeys – all of which were truly amazing and inspiring! Mr Forbes-Taber indicated that ESI have invited the College Work Studies class to remain in touch and there may be a possibility to attend the AIDP graduation ceremony later in the term, where recruits will be performing traditional First Nations' dances and sharing their graduation sash artworks and stories.

Mr Forbes-Taber was highly impressed with the conduct and professionalism of College students as they asked questions confidently and built positive relationships to further their understanding of the many different career pathways that people experience.

College student Jason Martinez has been developing his own physical fitness with a dream of one day perhaps being in the Army or playing professional football, and he was thrilled to be able to go head-to-head in a push up challenge with a recruit who was also named Jason! Both Jason’s performed admirably and in fact only stopped the push-ups when they were told they had to so Mr Forbes-Taber could get the class back to the College on time for their next class!

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