August 14, 2015
The FeNaCING Festival was held in Karratha earlier this
month and it was there that I met with members of the Pilbara Regiment,
including Major Peter Southern, Officer Commanding 2nd Squadron; Corporal Gill;
and Private Sycamore. The Pilbara Regiment is one of three Regional Force
Surveillance Units employed in surveillance and reconnaissance of the remote
areas of northern Australia and is responsible for an area of 1.3 million
Currently, there are nearly 250 members serving in the
Pilbara Regiment; 29 of these members are women and five members identify as
Indigenous. In fact, the longest-serving member of the regiment is
female—Corporal Gill, who I mentioned earlier and had the pleasure of meeting.
A number of the women in the regiment are qualified in the front line as
'patrolmen'. Maybe, there will be a time when we call them all 'patrollers'!
The key focus of the Pilbara Regiment's recruiting model is
to be local and inclusive regardless of age, race, religion or gender. The
Pilbara Regiment is unique, and troops have to be multiskilled, and
self-sufficient, and need the ability to adapt to the unique environmental
conditions. The motto of the Pilbara Regiment is 'Mintu wanta', which is from a
Western Desert Aboriginal dialect and means 'Always alert'.
On behalf of the constituents of Durack and myself, I thank
the Pilbara Regiment for the fantastic job they do in keeping our country and,
more importantly, the northern part of Australia safe.