Ellie Hawke
Leading Aircraftwoman
Royal Australian Air Force


I grew up in Melbourne on Wurundjeri land in a family of 6, the youngest of 4 daughters. I am a Trawlwoolway (North Eastern Tasmania) woman. My nan was brought up on lutruwita land, and much of my family still resides there with a strong connection to community. After moving to Victoria, my family lost its connection to our community when political and societal views affected their connection to country. It was not until my sisters and I grew up and began to educate ourselves on our history that we began to love and honour our Indigenous culture and found it to become such a powerful force in our family, something that we are so proud to share. 

I joined the RAAF in March 2022, directly after graduating from High School. I signed up for a Gap Year program. I didn’t have any expectations for the year and just thought it could be a good opportunity for me to learn something new and to help me decide what I wished to do for my future. I did not see myself signing up full time when I first joined; I had thought I may go to university and study nursing. However, after completing one year, I could not see myself leaving. I had met some incredible people and had experiences I never thought I would have, and I have not looked back since.

Since joining the ADF I have had so many amazing opportunities to learn and share more about my culture. This was something I did not expect to have so much of in my career with the ADF. Through the RAAF I have been involved in many programs and events with the local community. It has been incredible to make connections with other Indigenous Australians through my work in the ADF.

Outside of the ADF my extended family are a big part of the Indigenous community in Tasmania. When I am on country I feel such a deep connection and sense of belonging. I hope to be able to have more involvement in the community in the future. 

Our connection to each other and this land has been something that, as I am getting older, I am finding so important. So many people have come before me and I aim to honour and respect them with all I do. I am honoured to be able to be a part of protecting this country and this land in my work in the ADF. Being an Aboriginal woman is something I am so proud to call myself.