THE defence community embraced NAIDOC week with meetings and events throughout the country.
At Duntroon’s Yarning Circle in Canberra senior leaders of Air Force gathered with local Indigenous Elders and serving members of the Defence Force.
In the spirit of a traditional First Nations get-together, participants including Chief of Air Force (CAF) Air Marshal Robert Chipman swapped stories and connected through their common experience of serving in the ADF.
Air Marshal Chipman shared some powerful advice he received from a local Elder not long before he began his leadership role a little over 12 months ago.
“What I was told has really stayed with me and shaped my approach to the job,” Air Marshal Chipman said.
“They said, ‘Don’t run the country but instead look after it’.
“That’s exactly the way I feel about the Air Force. It’s a message that resonated so strongly with me and beautifully embodies the special relationship our First Nations people have with Country.”
Indigenous Liaison Officer Kristal House said that to join and openly chat or ‘yarn’ is a cornerstone of First Nations culture.
“It was important to sit down and talk with Indigenous aunties, as well as serving members, to hear about other Elders’ experiences of their time serving in the ADF,” Flight Lieutenant House said.
At RAAF Base Townsville members of the Wulgurukaba people officially opened a yarning circle with a smoking ceremony.