A chance to improve Indigenous records
Originally published in Army News on May 26, 2011.
Army Indigenous Strategy Steering Committee member Warrant Officer Class One Colin Watego said identifying as an indigenous person was voluntary and a personal decision, but the data collected contributed both to Army capability and the cause of reconciliation.
“This data ensures the development of the most effective strategies for attracting, recruiting and retaining indigenous members and recognising the truly diverse nature of the Army,” he said.
“I encourage all other indigenous members to think hard about identifying on PMKeyS so that we can demonstrate whether the strategies we have in place are working.”
The Army Indigenous Strategy Steering Committee was established in March 2009 with indigenous representatives from a cross-section of remote, regional and urban areas, rank and gender, and full-time and part-time soldiers.
Steering committee chair Major General Mick Fairweather said this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme – let’s talk recognition – offered opportunities on several fronts to make a difference to indigenous participation rates in Defence.
“The indigenous members of the steering committee have volunteered to be active voices for all indigenous Army members,” he said.
“Their enthusiasm, ideas and commitment are essential to the success of his directive and they are tremendous role models for all Army members.”
The steering committee recently met to discuss Army’s commitment to Defence’s reconciliation action plan and identify practical ways the Army can help close the gap.
“The current Army indigenous strategy – CA Directive 02/10 – outlines actions for commanders at all levels to enhance capability by improving indigenous participation rates, contributing to the development of indigenous communities, becoming more culturally aware and enhancing Army’s reputation as an integrated employer,” Major General Fairweather said.
By Major Lea Dunn