Lawrence Drinkwater
Cloncurry, Moa Island/ St Paul way, Torres Strait
Private CFN
Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Australian Army

I was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, but when I was a teenager, I began to visit my father on the school holidays who lived in Townsville. I was shocked to see how many more Indigenous youth lived in Townsville, as opposed to Sunshine Coast. I was glad that living on the Sunshine Coast, there were many programs to support Indigenous youth, and I took advantage of them. One was through AIME, which got mobs across high schools in our region to come together at the Sunny Coast University so they could inspire and mentor us. Apart from these programs, I would say that my father, Pop, other family members, and later in life, my sister, who had either been in the army or was in the army, all influenced, encouraged, and inspired my decision to join in 2022. If I am being totally honest, though, I always felt and still feel I was meant to be in the army.

Being in the army has definitely been the biggest challenge in my life, especially as I have a young family to raise. But I wouldn’t change anything. After having only served for just over 2 years, I am still in training in one of the longest courses at The Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (ASEME). The army has instilled a certain type of confidence, comradery, and self-worth that I didn’t have and I don’t believe could be found anywhere else. My service not only benefits myself but those around me. I’m very lucky to have the capacity and opportunity to join the army to serve with dignity our beautiful country and its beautiful people. The person I am today, along with many others before me, because I was not afraid to set my mind to my goals and accomplish them. I wish many others would join so they, too, could experience the positives, values and life lessons in defence, which are priceless!