Joshua Sinclair-Wadham
Boandik man
Sergeant
Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Australian Army

Medals
Australian Active Service Medal
Australian Service Medal
Police Overseas Service Medal
National Medal
Australian Defence Force Medal
United Nations Medal
Infantry Combat Badge
Returned from Active Service Badge

Operation IRONSIDE Citation
Operation PROTECT Citation
AFP 40th Anniversary Citation
G20 Citation
APF Operations Medal
Australian Federal Police Service Medal
AFP Protection Medal

 

My mob are Bunganditj or Boandik mob depending on who is spelling it! Boandik means “people of the reeds”. We are the first nations and sovereign peoples of the Mount Gambier region. Our country includes the coastal area of Robe to the mouth of the Glenelg River at Nelson, Victoria. With the policies of the time, that dispossessed our people from their land and culture along with the removal of “half-caste” Aboriginal children, my family were moved away from their country and eventually came to live near the Central Coast in NSW on Darkinjung country. However, my white great-grandfather who served in World War 1 came back home with a huge mental health issue (now called PTSD) from what he had endured. He did get a servicemen’s land grant through the Soldier Settlement Scheme, but he was looked down on because he was in a relationship with an Aboriginal woman. They never went to any of the ANZAC marches or Veteran functions because Great-Grandma had to be hidden so to speak. The other concern was my grandmother and her brothers and sisters may have been removed by the Protection Board because they were not “full-bloods”.

I served with the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment obtaining the rank of Platoon SGT. I completed several postings and deployments with some highlights being instructing at the School of Infantry and deploying on Operations in Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, I also had the opportunity to work with armed forces from the US, Malaysia, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Thailand. I made lifelong friends through my time in the army, and it was certainly an adventure. The military gave me a lot, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it took something away as well.

I left the Defence Force and went on to join the Australian Federal Police in 2005 and in 2022 became the highest-ranking Indigenous member of the AFP making the rank of Superintendent and continue to serve and protect this country and its people, something of which I am extremely proud. I feel I have been serving and protecting this country in some way my whole life it’s so important to show our proud history and commitment country.