Welcome to Season 4 Episode 20
Rising to the challenges
Marcus decided very early, in fact in high school, that he wanted to be an engineer. And a collegue’s of his mums suggested he be an engineer in the ARMY. Initially he laughed it off, but the seed had been planted. Over time the idea really grew with Marcus and he came to the realisation that being an engineer in the ARMY was exactly what he wanted to do.
The opportunities that I’ve had in the army have just been fabulous
Extra discussions during the episode
Future: Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, Space capabilities
I think that for engineers to remain relevant into the future for engineering to remain contemporary, cyber, space and artificial intelligence are going to be a big part of that knowledge base for engineers
Advice: Be open to new technologies and new ideas
Give it a red hot rip
The Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (ACAP)
one of those rare opportunities for soldiers to deploy in Australia and help Australians
General Sir John Monash
an inspirational leader during an immensely complex and challenging time
About Major General Marcus Thompson AM
Major General Marcus Thompson was born and raised in country Victoria. On graduation from the Royal Military College in 1988 he was allocated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals.
He served in a variety of command, regimental and Special Operations appointments including; Command of the 3rd Combat Signals Regiment, secondment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) as the Senior Advisor Defence Policy and Operations, Headquarters Special Operations as the Director General Special Operations Capability, and Commander 6th Combat Support Brigade.
Major General Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with honours from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Business from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Canberra, a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Deakin University, and a PhD in Cyber Security from the University of New South Wales.
Major General Thompson currently holds the appointment of Head of Information Warfare for the Australian Defence Force.
Marcus: [00:00:00] Remembrance Day 2020 will be particularly special for me. I learned earlier this year, of a, a great uncle of mine, who died in world war 1. Who was a Gunditjmara man, from that area in Southwestern Victoria, South Eastern, South Australia. There had been a story in my family for, for as long as I could remember about Aboriginal uncle. Remember my Great Nana, you know, Clearly an Aboriginal woman, but I didn’t understand that when I was a young boy.
[00:00:34]but, with the help of the researchers from the Australian War Memorial we’ve we had confirmed that indeed Christopher Wilson Carter, my great uncle, was absolutely an Aboriginal man and he’s now recorded on the register of, Aboriginal Torres Strait Island veterans at the, the War Memorial.
[00:00:50]the reason I tell that story is because, during the week of Remembrance Day, in fact, on Tuesday, the 10th of November, I will be reading Chris Carter’s story at the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Uh, so a great privileged during the rescheduled NAIDOC week for one, for me to read the story of an Aboriginal World War One veteran, but the fact that he is my Great Uncle, makes it particularly special for me.
[00:01:17] So, Remembrance Day this year will take on a particularly special meaning for me.
[00:01:23] Dom: [00:01:23] That’s wonderful.
[00:01:25] Mel: [00:01:25] That is amazing. So you always knew that you had an Aboriginal ancestor, but you hadn’t realized the connection with world war one.
[00:01:34] Marcus: [00:01:34] no, they’d been this folklore of the Aboriginal branch of the family.
[00:01:40]but we’d never been able to actually nail it down. and I, and I guess find that tangible evidence to support that family story. it’s on my mother’s side and my mother and her cousins had been looking for these tangible evidence for some years, unsuccessfully. The Australian War memorial researchers nailed it in about two days.
[00:02:01] Mel: [00:02:01] Oh no. What was the evidence? Was it just a listing or what. What was it?
[00:02:06] Marcus: [00:02:06] No. So they were able to trace back from the records, all of my Great Uncle, Christopher Wilson Carter, and found it. And would you believe that the family had been that there was misspellings in the surname, uh, that my, my uncle Chris’s, mother’s, maiden was Hutchinson and the family, but been looking for Hutchison, Atchinson and all these.
[00:02:28] And it was, it was the spelling of the surname the distracted, my family, but the professional researchers at the War Memorial got straight through that.
[00:02:37] Mel: [00:02:37] Oh, that’s amazing. Excellent. And what’s the reaction been from others around you when you’ve made those connections?
[00:02:45] Marcus: [00:02:45] Yeah, it was fabulous. And a significant response from the Defense organization, a supportive response from the Defense organisation and we, yeah. we did some media and when we found out about it and, and, took some photos at the Memorial with, with my daughter, and started tell the story. And because there are, there are so many families, there are so many people like me who, later in life discovered that tangible link to indigenous family.
[00:03:13] And I think that’s just something that Australians is going to happen in more and more and more in Australia, you know, that the longer our society develops and our community continues to, to, to, to develop. And the best part of that is that I think that the more Australians who are of Aboriginal Torres Strait Island heritage and the more of thsoe Australian’s there are the, the surely that’s going to be, a better thing for the nation.
[00:03:40]and yeah, good for the nation, good for, for the entire community that is Australia.
[00:03:46] Mel: [00:03:46] Oh, that will be an incredible experience to have that connection. I mean, I think it would be amazing irrespective. It was one of those things where I know my grandfather went to war, but I don’t know the stories. I just hear that he came back
[00:04:01]Marcus: [00:04:01] if it works out that I transition out of the regular army towards the end of this year, that’ll be a fabulous thing to have done. Fabulous experience to have had, you know, close to the end as well.
[00:04:12] Mel: [00:04:12] Yeah, absolutely. I will. Thank you so much for
[00:04:15] Dom: [00:04:15] sharing that wonderful thing so much.
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We interview engineers as they discuss their life and the issues they are dealing with.