Home' Army News : September 15th 2011 Contents We think life
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Army September 15, 2011
AFTER completing the pilot
Defence Indigenous Development
Program (DIDP) in December
2009, Pte Anthony Baker,
Norforce, has gone from strength
Talking at the Garma Festival,
40km south of Nhulunbuy in East
Arnhem Land on August 7, Pte Baker
told how the program had changed
his life. "I grew up near Borroloola in
the Gulf Country Northern Territory,"
After leaving school when he was
14 to work on a nearby cattle station,
Pte Baker knew there was more to life
and joined the seven-month DIDP.
"I knew I had to make a change in
my life," he said. "This course opened
my eyes to the opportunities available
hard work on my part."
At the end of the course, Pte
Baker won an ADF scholarship to
attend St Joseph's College in Hunter
Hill, Sydney. "For someone like me,
attending one of the premier schools
in Sydney was a bit scary. I was tested
to see where I was academically and
the school decided I would have to
join at Year 9."
He was disappointed, because he
was 17 at the time, but the school
assigned him a tutor and he worked
an extra four hours a day to meet the
requirements to advance from Year 9
to Year 11 in one year.
"It was hard but I went from near
the bottom to receiving awards for
second and third in my classes."
By LAC Bill Solomou
"A ONCE in a lifetime experi-
ence." That is how two soldiers
described their most recent deploy-
Sgt Terrence Bligh, Defence Force
Recruiting Parramatta, and Cpl Chris
Causby, DFR Perth, participated in
Exercise Arnhem Drifter from July
28 to August 31.
Arnhem Drifter is an ADF initia-
tive which brings aviation to young
Australians in remote communities. It
gives them the opportunity to experi-
ence the magic of flight.
The Air Force hot air balloon
travelled 14,000km through remote
Australian locations, including
Arnhem Land, the Kimberley Ranges
and Central Australia.
During the exercise, both Sgt
Bligh and Cpl Causby participated as
crew members as well as recruiting
and careers counsellors.
Sgt Bligh also acted as the indig-
enous liaison member.
"I speak four different dialects, so
engaging with the elders and the kids
was great." Sgt Bligh said.
"It was a great chance to offer
information to the students, to engage
with them and to present myself as a
proud third-generation soldier."
Sgt Bligh's grandfather served in
World War II and his father served in
For Cpl Causby, Balgo was a
highlight as he said the children were
"Kicking the footy with them was
fantastic," Cpl Causby said. "I really
did enjoy the trip."
Inflating smiles DIDP changes
lives for better
He now hopes to go into politics
in the Northern Territory when he
finishes Year 12.
"As a member of the NT
Government I would bring new goals
and ideas to the job.
"I want to help my people,
but more than that I want to help
my people help all the people of
Another great success story
presented at the DIDP forum was
that of Pte Warren Gaykamungu,
from Milingimbi. He is studying a
Bachelor Degree by correspondence
at Deakin University.
DIDP is a whole-of-government initia-
tive between the Department of Defence,
Department of Education, Employment and
Workplace Relations and the NT Department
of Education and Training.
DIDP graduates: Pte Anthony
Baker and Pte Warren
Gaykamungu at the Garma
Photo by LAC Glynn Jones
Fun in sun: Sgt
Terrence Bligh and the
children have some
fun packing away the
RAAF balloon (above)
and (inset) Cpl Chris
Causby helps set up
Photos by Flt-Sgt Glen McCarthy
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