Indigenous Australians have played a significant part in our military history over the past century and we are proud to continue this involvement with many Indigenous people serving in the Navy, Army and Air Force as full and part-time members. In addition to a diverse range of employment opportunities, the ADF offers support programs and further education opportunities for its Indigenous members.
Our Indigenous personnel come from a range of professional backgrounds and from all around Australia, including the Torres Strait Islands, regional areas and metropolitan cities. You can meet some of the current members now by playing the videos below.
Information about career and education opportunities in the ADF can be found here, in the Recruitment Centre and throughout the DefenceJobs site.
In Profile 1/5
Donald Taylor joined the Air Force in 1979 as an airman in the Technical Trade mustering and has progressed in his career to serve today as a Flight Sergeant. Born in Cloncurry, Donald grew up in Julia Creek and learnt about the Air Force when a Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU) visited his community. Donald still sees RFSUs in action today, informing other Indigenous youth about the benefits of the Air Force and teaching Indigenous communities skills for living off the land and preserving Indigenous culture. Donald has represented the Air Force in inter service and international sporting competitions. He is a big believer in the opportunities for new friendships in the Air Force.
In Profile 2/5
Carol Watego-Morgan is an Aboriginal South Sea Islander, living in Cairns with her three children and husband, who she met when she joined the Navy as a Stores Naval in 1990. She now works as a Hydrographic Systems Operator, collecting data to generate charts that map every inch of the ocean floor. With the support of the Navy, Carol has managed to structure her work schedule to suit her family life, with a working week that is often 9-5. This means she can drop her kids off to school and pick them up at the end of the day. Postings to sea are short, between 14-21 days and Carol enjoys the visits into foreign ports, where she can go shopping and visit the local restaurants with her crewmates. Although she does miss home, at least she travels with her second family.
In Profile 3/5
Biemop Tapim (BJ) joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1994 as a Leading Seaman, Medical Assistant. He was raised in the Murray Island (Mer) in the Torres Straits and is of the Dauareb tribe whose totems are the turtle (Nam), mackerel (Dabor) and the frigate bird (Maimai- Peme). He has travelled to New Zealand, Fiji and Singapore with the Navy and hopes to travel more in the near future. Recently, BJ left the Navy to begin a Medical Degree at a civilian university and re-entered after one year under the Defence University Sponsorship, which will pay for the remainder of his degree.
When he rejoins the Navy he will be a qualified Medical Officer.
In Profile 4/5
Lisa Pulver is an Epidemiologist in the Air Force Specialist Reserve. She was born and still resides on the Land of the Gadigal people in inner Sydney. Lisa's civilian employers fully support her Reserve commitments, as they can see the benefits her Air Force training and clinical education bring to her work. Lisa believes that now is a fantastic time for both Indigenous people and women within the Australian Defence Force.
In Profile 5/5
Barbara Johnson joined the Army in 1994 as a Dental Assistant after being raised and educated in the Riverina at Wagga Wagga - Wiradjuri. She is married to Greg who has been in the Army for 22 years and they have two daughters and a grandson. Barbara also had two uncles in WWI with the famous surname Knight, who were both medal winners. In 2000 she transferred to the Army Reserve as a Clerk Admin to increase her job flexibility and to have more time with her husband and kids.
Barbara has also served in the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment as part of the support staff to the infantry soldiers and is currently working for Defence Force Recruiting on the Indigenous Recruitment Strategy. Barbara loves the Army lifestyle and the friends she has made during her career.
Indigenous Australians have made a significant contribution to protecting the national interests of Australia for over 100 years.
The ADF has a range of programs intended to support service members and communities and to acknowledge significant Indigenous cultural events.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this website may contain images or content relating to deceased persons. It may also contain words and descriptions that are culturally sensitive.
The term Indigenous Australians will be used throughout to describe all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.