Darren Hincks
Sergeant (retired)
131st Divisional Locating Battery
Royal Australian Artillery
Australian Army

Australian Defence Medal

I am of Mirning/Kokatha/Wirangu descent, on my mother’s side.  Our people are of the Western Coastal and Western Lower Desert regions of South Australia. Interestingly enough, I was born on Ngarrindjeri country in Murray Bridge, South Australia and raised in a small railway community called Monarto South.  Dad was a Signalman with the South Australian Railways and in 1968, we moved to the Adelaide Hills to the small town of Aldgate, where Dad continued his career. This region is on the cusp of Kaurna and Peramangk Countries.

In 1979, at 17 years of age, I joined the Australian Army, after being talked out of joining the railways by my Dad.  He thought privatisation of the railways would cast some doubts over employment.  Ironically, if Dad is watching over us, he’d probably say I’ve defied his orders (yet still be proud) as I  currently work for ARTC (Australian Rail Track Corporation), as their First Nations Engagement Advisor, Interstate and Major Construction Projects.

My service in the ADF was from 1979 to 1990.  I discharged in October 1990, with the rank of Sergeant and returned to South Australia, as after eleven years of service I was unhappy with my career projections and pathways.  I should have ‘toughed’ it out for another 8 years, on reflection – that would have given me 20 years, and entitlement to the Military pension – oh well!

So, I joined the South Australian State Public Service in 1991 and over the years have worked for the State Library of South Australia (Mortlock Wing), the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office, the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and finally SA Health (Aboriginal Health Services).  I left the State public service in 2022, to join ARTC.

My community involvement has been varied but in one aspect, quite ‘structured’! I have been involved with Australian Rules Football umpiring for 34 years with our local panel, the Combined Southern Leagues Football Umpires Panel (CSLFUP).  Our panel covers the Southern and Great Southern Football Leagues, here in South Australia. I have covered all 3 disciplines of Field, Boundary and Goal umpiring in those 34 years and continue to do so, mainly as a goal umpire, with the occasional junior field thrown in for good measure. I have been the Head Coach of the panel on 2 occasions and have received numerous awards, which I really don’t like talking about.  That’s another category in its own right! I do however, proudly mention that I am a Life Member of our Panel and a Life Member of our Panels Social Club  I am also currently the panels President. But the ultimate accolade for me, occurred in 2016.  I was inducted into the Southern Football League’s Hall of Fame, for services to umpiring and community football. A proud moment for my wife, my parents, who are sadly no longer with us, and my brothers. I am involved with the Southern Football League’s Cultural Diversity working group, which also includes a RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) working group.

I am also involved in the local Aldinga War Memorial working group, and have MC’d last year’s Remembrance Day service as well as this years ANZAC Day Dawn Service.