Matthew Thompson
Yuggera and Mununjali Man
Leading Seaman Boatswain’s Mate
Royal Australian Navy

Australian Operational Service Medal – Operation Resolute
Australian Defence Medal

I grew up all throughout Queensland, living in Hervey Bay, Cairns, Innisfail and Gladstone. But my Mob is from Ipswich (Thompson) and Beaudesert (Sandy/Coolwell). After a nomadic childhood, we finally settled in Ipswich when I was 15. I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2015, at 18, through the NIDP program. I joined the RAN for a few reasons.  Firstly, I was inspired by my great-grandfather, who fought in WW2. Secondly, I am motivated to challenge myself and break the cycle that kids from my area get caught up with, hoping to be a positive role model for the next generation. After completing basic training in 2016, I deployed on Operation Resolute, part of the Transit Security Element. From 2017-2020, I served on HMA ships Adelaide (L01) and Parramatta (154). In 2021 I was posted to HMAS Coonawarra port services, before receiving my promotion to HMAS Cerberus to be a weapons instructor in 2022. I believe the Navy/ADF is a great stepping stone for building strong Indigenous role models. I went from being a shy Murri kid from Ipswich with no life skills to being a weapons instructor, training the next generation of Australian sailors.