Normie Grogan
Kuku Yalanji/Takalak, Far North Qld/Gulf Country Qld, Kanak Solomon Islander, Malayta
Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT)
Royal Australian Air Force

Medals and Awards
Australian Defence Medal

 

I was born in Cairns, the 2nd youngest of 11 children, and grew up in the Far North Queensland regions of Kuranda, Mareeba and Cairns.  We were a large family with both my mother and father also coming from large families, so it was always important to be around family and Elders to support each other during tough times.  I joined the Air Force in 2018 as an Indigenous Liaison Officer (ILO) as I was keen to continue sharing and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the Australian Defence Force.  My previous careers include working in the public service, mainstream and community media such as Aboriginal broadcasting (radio announcer), ABC TV + Radio as journalist/producer/manager, and community engagement officer with government and non-government health organisations.

My role was to promote community health initiatives across the Northern Territory, by visiting remote Aboriginal locations and engaging traditional owners with Indigenous and non-Indigenous health professionals.  I also worked as an Alcohol and Other Drugs counsellor at NT Health, and a cultural educator to provide cultural awareness for General Practice Registrars (GPRs), who were recruited from across Australia, and internationally, to work in remote NT Aboriginal communities.

I enjoy my role as an ILO as I’ve been able to experience wonderful opportunities to work with an amazing crew of people and travel across the country.  Some of the highlights have been visiting the Torres Strait Islands with the Australian Olympic Committee, Western Arnhemland with retired NASA astronauts, and Western Australia with the United States Marine Corps for community engagement with projects involving local traditional owners.

This job also allows me to share the Air Force life with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with our Indigenous Youth Program,  which provides the students with the opportunity to see the daily life of an aviator and experience close-up being near the latest technology and aircraft. We aim to hopefully inspire our next generation of Air Force warriors.