Joshua Daw
Whadjuk Nyoongar
Able Seaman
Royal Australian Navy

Australian Defence Medal


I was born in Armadale Western Australia to parents Janine and Osbourne. My connection to country as a Nyoongar is through my mother’s side, with our family roots to the country town of Collie Western Australia.

In my 20’s, I was missing purpose and direction in my life, and was not motivated to continue university study. When I was 25, my grandmother, who worked in the Department of Justice before she retired,  introduced me to a man who would become a very significant mentor of mine; (now retired) Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor; Darren, who she worked with at a correctional facility.

At the time I was still uncertain of whether I wanted to commit several years of my life to the Defence Force, and so I was offered to undertake a five-month contract and enlist as a Navy recruit under the Navy Indigenous Development Program (NIDP). A course designed to bring Indigenous prospects up to the standard requirement to successfully complete RAN Recruit School training. The course involves a Tafe year 10 equivalency in maths and English, Indigenous cultural activities and additionally focuses on physical training and military dress and bearing. I enlisted as a recruit as a part of the NIDP-13 on 12th of February 2020.

I found the course to be very enjoyable, though initially challenging, and am very appreciative of the mentoring and support I’ve received from the NIDP Staff even to this day. Shoutout to Titch, Kimberly and Kyh!

Since enlisting into the Royal Australian Navy on 2020, I have had the opportunity to serve ashore at Fleet Base West HMAS Stirling, on board HMAS Stalwart and most recently HMAS Anzac of which was deployed for most of 2023. I was fortunate enough to travel to some of my top countries of intrigue, including Japan, where I met a lot of interesting people, many of whom I consider lifelong friends.

I am always advocating for the benefits the ADF offers to my family and community, especially my younger nephews, who may feel how I did when I was younger. Short or long term, the ADF is a fantastic career pathway.