Indigenous graduates credit to defence force
FROM struggling to find work to landing a job in the navy, Sharni Ludwick has come a long way in eight months.
The 22-year-old's mother encouraged her to enrol in the Defence Indigenous Development Program last year after being made aware of the course, which is now in its third year.
"I wasn't doing anything, just sitting at home and being bored," she said.
Sharni was among 22 men and women from as far as Hope Value, Badu Island and Napranum recognised at a ceremony at HMAS Cairns yesterday after completing the program.
Throughout the seven-month live-in course the participants had stints with the navy, army and the airforce while completing Year 10 studies and trying their hand at everything from bootcamp to dog handling.
Sharni will start work as a bosun's mate in January and will be joined by classmate Ali Muhamad, who discovered the course while looking for a job at Thursday Island.
"If I wasn't here I'd still be up in Thursday island. This has given me the opportunity to gain more skills and see life, really," he said.
Federal Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon said the graduates would become role models for their communities.
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Role models: The ceremony yesterday recognised 22 men and women from as far as Hope Value, Badu Island and Napranum who completed the Defence Indigenous Development Program.