From base camp to lift-off


National Reconciliation Week

An aviator inspired by the RAAF Base Williamtown Indigenous Youth Program leads by example.

Nearing the end of high school in 2019, Aircraftwoman Indianna Biles wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduating, so she signed up to the RAAF Base Williamtown Indigenous Youth Program (IYP).

IYP camps are held annually at Air Force bases to showcase Air Force careers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.

“I just thought it was a good opportunity to see what Defence was like and get a little glimpse inside,” Aircraftwoman Biles said.

The Ngemba and Murrawari woman joined the Air Force in February 2022 and posted to Headquarters Air Combat Group as a supplier.

“The program gave me an insight into the range of jobs that are available within Defence. [It] was a great way to talk to people and have that option to join,” she said.

“Seeing other members from the same IYP now in uniform, that really affirms the success of the program.”

When asked what Reconciliation Week means to her, Aircraftwoman Biles said this year’s theme, ‘Be a voice for generations’, reminds us to embrace our successes and strive to be the example for the next generation.

“Reconciliation week, for me, is a time to reconcile the past with the people that are here today and to push through into the future together in a continually changing world,” Aircraftwoman Biles said.

“I feel that as an Aboriginal woman, I have a responsibility to be a positive example in my community.”

“At the moment I am gaining experience within my mustering, and enjoying my first posting here at Williamtown. In the future I will consider furthering my studies, but at the moment I am just really enjoying where I am.”

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