Brenton Bailey
Sempol and Saibai Islands, Torres Strait Islands – Ka Ka Law Tribe
2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry)
Armoured Cavalry
Royal Australian Armoured Corps
Australian Army

Australian Operational Service Medal – Greater Middle East.
Australian Defence Force Medal


When I was a young boy, I grew up with a family that had travelled a lot, and this is due to being in a family that served our country, from great grandfathers, great uncles and my father, who was in the RAAF. Most of the family were in the army, but nonetheless, we were in the defence forces, and no matter where, we would always be at home. I didn’t have a chance to grow up with my culture much, but when I was taught about my culture, it was respect for the land we live on, cultural dances and big feeds. My Indigenous side of my family is from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait and Daru Island in the western province of Papua New Guinea.

Even though I enlisted at the age of 28, I was driven by the need I felt to protect our country from whatever threats that might be. This feeling runs through my veins and those of my family too. I enlisted in 2016 after completing the ADF Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Program (IPRP). Here, I learnt more about my culture and the opportunities ahead. Excelling life skills and cultural understandings, I have been able to pass this knowledge on to every person I meet along my journey, including members of my platoon, during field exercises and when attending ADF events for the public. I served in Iraq with the Australian Army Quick Reaction Force (QRF) at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. This is where I got to create allies and learn about the US and New Zealand Defence forces, as well as gaining an understanding of other cultures and peoples from many other different nations and countries around the globe. This was the best experience, as I knew I was doing what I was born to do; to protect our country and pass knowledge to others. Choosing to join the ADF to serve my country and share my culture has been the best decision of my life. Being in the army has a lot of challenges, but there’s nothing more proud than doing it for your people and country and your mates.