John Alderton
Palawa Man
Chief Petty Officer
Royal Australian Navy
Regional Indigenous Development Coordinator

Medals and Awards
Australian Active Service Medal with clasps Iraq & ICAT
Afghanistan Medal
Iraq Medal
Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
Defence Long Service Medal with 2 clasps
Australian Defence Medal


Born in 1967 in Hobart Tasmania to a single mum and Aboriginal dad, I was put up for adoption following my mother being sat in a room and not being allowed to see me until she signed the paperwork.  I was raised by two loving parents who never concealed the fact that I had been adopted but who were also unaware of my Indigenous heritage. In the early 2000s, following a change to the law in Tasmania, my birth mother was able to locate me and make contact. It was then, in my early 30s, that I was made aware of my ancestry.  That is when a period of discovery began; trying to research my roots and the traditions of my people, the Palawa. It has been a long hard experience as the records in Tasmania are hard to access or just purely don’t exist. As part of Navy Indigenous, I have been able to grow in culture and learn from many Elders from around the country and this growth continues today.