Tommy Munyarryun's interview in Darwin

Tommy Munyarryun speaks about his experience serving in NORFORCE since 1991. He recalls hearing stories about Yolgnu who served in World War 2 in coastal surveillance and how this inspired him to join up himself. Tommy discusses his desire to be promoted and the difficult process he went through to become a Sargent. There is a strong focus in his interview on the difficulties of transitioning from the world of Yolgnu Matha and community to the world of English and the Army. He sees the language barrier as a particular difficulty for young indigenous soldiers to overcome. Tommy also talks about NORFORCE’s role in ‘the intervention’ and the challenges of being an Aboriginal soldier involved in that operation. Tommy is very proud to be a member of NORFORCE and in particular enjoys mentoring and supporting young indigenous recruits.

This interview took place on 11 August 2016 in Darwin and was conducted by Dr Allison Cadzow and Ms Siobhan McDonnell with Craig Greene as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Serving our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia.

The interview recording above is made available to be viewed here by permission of the interviewee(s), Tommy Munyarryun. The recording may not be copied, reproduced or communicated in whole or in part without the prior permission of the interviewee(s). Requests for permission for use of this material should be made to the Serving our Country research project: our contact details.

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Updated:  16 July 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Serving our Country/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team