Home' Army News : October 1st 2009 Contents "THEY'RE KEEPING THEIR PROMISE TO MY DAD."
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"right people, right place, right time"
Army October 1, 2009
Norforce on right course
In tuition: Lt Debbie
Hohaia guides Pte Kim
Wunungmurra through his
Photo by Maj Chris Delaney
Soldier's five: Capt Adam
Bayden-Clay gives a lesson
on break-contact drills to
Photo by Gnr Shannon Joyce
By Maj Chris Delaney
THE journey of 20 young indigenous
people from remote communities in
the Northern Territory has reached a
crossroad on the pilot course of the
Defence Indigenous Development
The new seven-month course aims
to give the indigenous Norforce soldiers
the necessary language, numeracy and
literacy skills to join the ADF or support
their careers in regional-force units.
Students began the DIDP course on
May 30, after their induction training
into Norforce and have closed the text
books temporarily to now complete their
two-week patrolman's course.
The students who have already done
their patrolman course will be complet-
ing work experience with the police or
on a cattle station near Broome.
The DIDP training will also pro-
vide the advanced skills necessary for
employment as medics and signallers
within the unit.
Education officer Lt Debbie Hohaia
has worked with Norforce as an educa-
tion instructor for the last three years
and said it was a remarkable effort.
She said in some ways she could
relate to the difficulties the students have
confronted and overcome.
Lt Hohaia herself left school at 16
and had three children before finishing
her own education.
She said it was heartening and quite
remarkable to see the level of commit-
ment by the young indigenous students.
"They are a credit to themselves
and their communities," Lt Hohaia said.
"They are also future leaders."
The DIDP course is an intense blend
of academic and practical skills con-
ducted over six days a week often from
6am to 9pm.
In conjunction with Charles Darwin
University, the students attend a cer-
tificate course in rural employment from
Monday to Friday.
Classroom studies are done in the
morning followed by practical work in
rural employment in the afternoons.
On Saturdays, the students attend
military training at the Norforce depot.
Lt Hohaia said the benefit of the
DIDP training was immediately obvi-
ous when she visited the Charles Darwin
campus near Katherine.
"There was no tutor or any person
of authority in the classroom. What we
observed was one of those rare moments
in teaching where students were taking
turns to read from a text their instructor
had given them," she said.
"In an organised and supportive fash-
ion, they each took their turn in reading
from this book. They had been doing this
for approximately an hour and a half.
"I was a teacher in New Zealand and
in the Australian Army and found this
was an impressive demonstration of how
much these young people have advanced
in their language, literacy and numeracy
She said the positive encouragement
and team support students gave each
other was testimony the program was
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