Nerelda West
Gooniyandi Clan
Regional Force Surveillance Group
Australian Army


I am an Aboriginal woman from my mother’s side (Lorraine Shandley (deceased), and my father was non-Indigenous, Kevin John West Snr (deceased). I grew up mostly in Bayulu and in our family block in Joy Springs Community, Fitzroy Crossing Western Australia. I heard about Norforce recruitment through my cousin brother Michael Mick Munday Jnr who was already serving in the Army. There were many of my cousins and nephews who had already served in the Army before I had started. I decided to join as I was going through hard times, especially after my mother had passed away. I wanted to try something different and I love to take on new challenges. Signing up was the best thing I did. I met new people, young and old, who were like my new family.

It’s good to see more Aboriginal mob joining the Army to serve and protect our beautiful country. My family and children were very proud and supportive of me being in the Army. Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin was our main place to travel to for training. I enjoyed the physical training, although I hurt my leg tendons back in Broome. I also joined Norforce with a broken wrist (both bones – left Radius), but that didn’t stop me from continuing with my duties and further training. I served for 20 weeks each year over a 3-year period. I no longer serve in the army, I am now a soldier in the Army of the Lord, God bless all and this country!