Home' Army News : February 17th 2010 Contents TRAINING 19
Army February 17, 2011
By AB Melanie Schinkel
PTE Raymond Solinas has overcome
many obstacles to achieve his ambi-
tion of becoming an Australian sol-
dier and he couldn't have done it
without the encouragement, support
and dedication of two Army warrant
With his friends and family look-
ing on, Pte Solinas, 28, proudly
marched out of Kapooka on December
10 and has now started his Basic
Driver Course at the Army School of
Transport's Road Transport Wing in
An indigenous Australian and
father of two from Cairns, Pte Solinas
said he was determined to join the
Army after completing a Directorate
of Indigenous Affairs employment
program called the Indigenous Pre
Recruitment Course (IPRC) in August
"The IPRC helped me to find
myself because I didn't know where
life. I also wanted to become a better
role model for my kids," Pte Solinas
"It was an excellent course and
helped improve my literacy and
numeracy skills. We did a lot of mili-
tary and physical training too -- I just
got right into it."
The IPRC is an intensive eight-
week residential course designed to
prepare indigenous jobseekers for the
ADF recruitment process and intro-
duce them to military life.
Training Developer and Pte
Solinas' mentor, WO2 Darren Moffitt,
said the program was delivered by
serving indigenous ADF personnel
and TAFE instructors.
"The initiative is aimed at 'clos-
ing the gap' by providing indigenous
candidates with the skills, knowledge
and attitudes needed for success at
DFR as they undertake the recruitment
process," WO2 Moffitt said.
"After completing the IPRC, all
graduates attend a DFR 'You Day'
session, which is the first stage of the
ADF recruitment process. They are
also provided with ongoing mentoring
support from a network of indigenous
volunteer mentors from Army, Navy
and Air Force.
"This mentoring support provides
IPRC graduates with the necessary
encouragement, guidance and emo-
tional support to continue with their
Pte Solinas said his first attempt at
the DFR 'You Day' was unsuccessful.
"I was absolutely devastated
because I didn't pass the aptitude
requirements to enlist, but my men-
tors encouraged me to try again. Their
confidence and the way they presented
themselves had a big impact on me -- I
wanted to have those qualities too. If it
wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here."
To get up to speed, Pte Solinas
enrolled in a TAFE literacy and
numeracy skills course before resitting
the aptitude exam in March last year.
"Thankfully, I passed the second
time and after a successful interview
they told me I was in. I was overjoyed
because I didn't want to let my family
or mentors down," Pte Solinas said.
"It just goes to show that if you
work hard enough you can achieve
anything. So far, I'm really enjoying
my Basic Driver Course but it is dif-
ficult at times. Luckily, there are a lot
of good instructors here to help me so
I will keep trucking along."
Mentors drive success
Mentoring team: WO1 Colin Watego, Pte Raymond Solinas, Sgt Michael Edwards and WO2 Darren Moffitt all played a part in Pte Solinas' success.
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