Don Taylor
Kalkadoon Man
Warrant Officer
Royal Australian Air Force
Senior Indigenous Recruitment Officer (Directorate of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Affairs – Air Force)

Australian Active Service Medal with clasp ICAT
Afghanistan Medal
Australian Operational Service Medal – Greater Middle East
Defence Force Service Medal with 3 clasps
Australian Defence Medal
Operational Service Badge


I was born and raised on Mitakoodi country in Cloncurry, and I am a proud descendant of the Yirrandali and Ngawun people on my mother’s side, and I am a proud descendant of the Kalkadoon people on my father’s side, from North-West Queensland. My father was conscripted into the Army under the National Service Act in 1953. Like many members of my community and extended family, I grew up with a compelling sense of loyalty to protect Australia and my homeland. Following in my father’s footsteps, I enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1979.

I completed my Initial Employment Training (IET) as a Motor Transport Fitter (MTFITT) at the RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) in 1981. After consolidating my trade knowledge at No 2 Stores Depot (2SD) in Regents Park and No 482 Squadron (482SQN) at RAAF Base Amberley, I was promoted to Corporal in 1987 and posted to the RAAF School of Fire and Security (RAAFSFS) as a trade instructor for maintenance and operations of Airfield Fire Fighting Vehicles in 1989.

Returning to aviation ground maintenance, I was posted to No 486 Squadron (486SQN) at RAAF Base Richmond in 1991, where I became proficient with the storage and handling of aviation fuels. After several unit changes, including No 503 Wing (503WG) and No 303 Air Base Wing (303ABW), I was posted to No 323 Air Base Wing (323ABW) at RAAF Base Townsville in 1996 and promoted to Sergeant the following year.

After a posting to No 321 Combat Support Squadron (321CSS) at RAAF Base Darwin, I transferred to the RAAF Active Reserve (RAAFAR), No 27 Squadron (27SQN) at RAAF Base Townsville in 2002 and was promoted to Flight Sergeant. During this period, I was posted to Headquarters No 396 Combat Support Wing (396CSW) at RAAF Base Darwin. Upon completion of this tenure, I re-entered permanent service in 2007 and was posted to No 1 Airfield Operations Support Squadron (1AOSS) at RAAF Base Townsville. I was deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) during Operation SLIPPER in 2009.

I was posted to No 382 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (382ECSS) at RAAF Base Amberley in 2011 and appointed as Squadron Warrant Officer in 2013 before deploying to No 19 Squadron Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in Butterworth as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Mechanical Equipment and Operations Maintenance Section (MEOMS).

In February 2014, I was promoted to Warrant Officer as the inaugural Senior Airman of Indigenous Affairs in Canberra, working to promote Defence in Indigenous communities. I was particularly involved in community-based programmes to encourage Indigenous students to remain at school and obtain good grades to allow for better choices and options in life.

Returning to Queensland, I was posted to the Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC) – North Queensland in Townsville and subsequently to 27SQN at RAAF Base Townsville as OIC MEOMS. As the Senior Indigenous Recruitment Officer (SIRO), I supported Defence Force Recruiting’s programmes, travelling extensively and visiting many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout North Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula.

Whilst on my second deployment to the MEAO during Operation ACCORDION in 2018, I was selected as the inaugural Senior Enlisted Adviser of Indigenous Affairs and posted to Headquarters Air Command (HQAC) in 2019. I returned to Brisbane as part of the Specialist Recruiting Team – Technical (SRT – T), Air Force at DFRC – Brisbane before re-joining the RAAFAR upon my retirement in 2020.

I have spent many years actively supporting numerous programmes to recruit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into Defence, aiming to improve retention while promoting diverse and culturally appropriate workplaces. Currently, I serve as an Air Force Liaison Officer with the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) at RAAF Base Amberley, responsible for implementing General Service Training (GST) programmes and associated activities for No2 Wing AAFC.

I have four adult children. In my spare time, I am a passionate historian and plan to write a history of Indigenous Australians, based on my many years of research.