Swan View Aboriginal students tour HMAS Stirling to explore Defence Force career options

Students with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Bertha Moore Jarome Cross and Shontae Coyne at Navy Immersion Camp.
Students with Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Bertha Moore Jarome Cross and Shontae Coyne at Navy Immersion Camp.

ABORIGINAL students experienced what life would be like working in the defence forces this month during a Navy Immersion Camp at HMAS Stirling in Perth.

Students from the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, and Clontarf and Wirrapunda foundations attended the two-day camp to learn about career pathways available within the forces.

Year 10 Swan View Follow The Dream student Shontae Coyne said the experience opened her eyes to different career possibilities and gave her a realistic view of life in the navy.

“I have learnt about how challenging but also how rewarding a career in the Defence Forces would be,” she said.

“The Follow The Dream program is all about family and making everyone feel like they belong.

“It seems that working in the navy would be like working with your extended family and I can really relate to this sense of belonging.”

As well as meeting members of the Australian Defence Force, students met Prime Minister Scott Morrison who was visiting to get an insight into what they were learning.

Year 10 Bunbury student Keilani West said the whole experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and being chosen to represent the Follow The Dream program was a real privilege.

“We felt very special as we were the first people the prime minister made time to speak to during his visit,” she said.

“He was genuinely interested in us and wanted to know about where we come from, our education, and our experiences on the camp.”

The students also took part in several activities, including a simulated weapons training shoot, a tour of the HMAS Ballarat frigate, mountain bike riding, navy-style fitness training, and a tour of on-shore naval support facilities.