Darren Reyes
Ydinji and Djirribal Man
Able Seaman Boatswain’s Mate
Royal Australian Navy

Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
Australian Defence Medal

I served In the Royal Australian Navy for 6 years. I joined 5th May 2008 and completed my basic and category training at HMAS Cerberus, Crib Point (Melbourne) to become a Boatswain’s Mate (Seamanship and Gunnery Sailor). On completion of my training I was based at HMAS Coonawarra (Darwin), HMAS Cairns (Cairns) and HMAS Kuttabul (Sydney). I worked and trained on the following Class Ships; (LCH) HMAS Balikpapan, (ACPB) Patrol Boats HMAS Armidale/ Pirie, (HS) Hydrographic Ships, HMAS Choules (Supply ship), HMAS Newcastle (FFG) and (ACPB) HMAS Broome/Maitland. The people who influenced me the most in joining defence were my Father Frederick Reys, who served in the 51st Battalion B Company, 1st Intake National Service 1951 Wacol Camp Brisbane and my Mother Valerie Davies who is a retired Nurse. Others that influenced me were Family Members, friends of family that served defence and friends I grew up with that joined the services. 6 years in Defence I learnt a lot about myself and about others. I experienced a lot of travelling and it definitely trained me well for challenges in life that I was going to be faced with. Overall it gave me life experiences and gave me professional training and life skills that I now obtain. I’m currently discharged from the Navy 31st Aug 2014 and currently studying social work at James Cook University. Great opportunity whilst serving in Royal Australian Navy was to be able share my Indigenous Culture as well as represent the Navy. I played an important role among others being apart of Royal Australian Navy’s first ever Indigenous Dance group Bungaree which performed at the International Fleet Review 2013 at Opera House and being the first ever Indigenous Serviceman to play the didgeridoo at the opening of the Dawn Service Canberra AWM in front of the Royal Family. I discharged from the Navy in 2014 and began studying for a degree in Social Work while working as an Indigenous Liaison Officer at Peace Luther College in Cairns mentoring and tutoring young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, particularly those in boarding school to help them transition from communities to develop their education and sporting potential. I then worked for Wuchopperen Family Wellbeing service, to strengthen families through intervention with the main focus being on prevention and unification. I also worked with CREST Community Re-entry Support  Team, with the Lives Lived Well program working with offenders to help them transition back into community by supporting them with rehabilitation, Medicare, accommodation, birth certificate and licensing referrals. I then went onto working at Queensland Corrective Services before becoming an NDIS disability support worker. My main focus is to complete my degree in Social Work and work in community to work with government and non-government organisations to support families and individuals in need.


– Darren Reyes