Aaron Sebasio
Tribe – Meuram/ Zagareb
Totem – Beuger (Brown Booby Bird)
Serar (Tern )
Tribal constellation -Beizam/Baitham (Northern Shark Star)
Gerger Neser/ Gaiga Thithui (Morning Star)
Tribes Wind – Naiger (North Easterlies)
Spiritual ancestors – Paiwer/Adgiz

Warrant Officer Class 2
51 Far North Queensland Regiment
Australian Army


Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection (Operation Resolute)
Defence Long Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal


I was born on Thursday Island and raised in a town called Bamaga located approximately 40 kilometres from the northern tip of Cape York. It is community of about 1,200 people, the majority of whom (75%) are Torres Strait Islanders, with 33% being Aboriginal and just 9% being non-Indigenous.  My father was born on Erub Island, and my mother was born on Badu Island. My parents first met on Thursday Island before moving to Bamaga, where I was born. I am the sixth child of nine children, with two elder brothers who served in the 49th Infantry Battalion and myself and two other brothers (one being a First Lieutenant ) who served in the 51st Battalion. Although their enlisting encouraged me to also join, my main reason for joining was because of my grandfather, David Sabasio, who served in the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion of the Australian Army during the Second World War. This battalion is the only Indigenous Battalion ever formed by the Australian Army. I wanted to follow in his footsteps to defend our country and protect the land and sea of our homelands.

When I joined at 17 years old in 1981, there was a big mob of us who joined. It makes me really proud to see all the names of the people I know who are family or extended family from across generations. We do need more people to join up, either full-time or part-time and be a part of our cultural tradition of defending the country. We have also introduced other aspects of culture, including dance, into our service. Our Charlie Company, Sarpeye, has mainly Torres Strait Islanders along with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, plus non-indigenous members, and my role is to provide cultural discipline and education. I am able to play a fatherly role for the soldiers in Sarpeye. Outside of Army I am a Plant Operator maintaining the roads across the Torres Straits. This makes it easy for me to stay in contact with soldiers across our islands.

The northern coastline of Far North Queensland and the waters of the Torres Strait are faithfully guarded by the Sarpeye, the 51st Battalion, the Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR), and we are entrusted with the protection of this region. To the Australian Defence Force we bring our invaluable knowledge of the islands and waters, the surrounding reefs, wind, weather, tides and currents into our role of protectors of this region. This deep knowledge can take a lifetime to learn and is an essential skill for the surveillance of the region.

With over 40 years in the Army, I am the longest-serving Sarpeye. Looking back, I am proud of what I have done with the army, proud of the young soldiers’ achievements and proud of what they are doing now. I am proud to pass on knowledge to the next generation.

Other Serving Country images of Aaron Sebasio

Darwin October 2018