Defence has made an enduring commitment to and recognition of reconciliation most recently in the Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-2018 (the plan). The plan rests on three simple but powerful concepts respect, inclusion and fairness. It sets out a number of goals including increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in Defence both in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian Public Service; and providing professional and career development and contracting opportunities for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
The ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre (the Centre) wholeheartedly supports reconciliation and the plan. Our modest contribution to furthering the objectives of the plan has naturally been in the area of financial literacy education. Since the Centre’s inception we have supported ADF’s pre-recruitment courses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women with tailored financial education seminars and personal consultations upon request for participants on some courses. Most recently, the courses we have supported have included the Navy’s Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP-N), the Indigenous Pre Recruitment Course, and the Army Indigenous Development Program (AIDP). For the AIDP we have had the opportunity to deliver the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) full Be Money Smart vocational training package with the assistance of ASIC’s Regional Commissioner for the Northern Territory.
We regard the opportunities we have had to work with these pre-recruitment courses as a distinct privilege. From personal experience the calibre, commitment and motivation of the men and women completing the courses is very high. We will no doubt all benefit tremendously from their service to country in years to come.