Uncle Villington Lui


Torres Strait Islander
Retired Petty Officer Royal Australian Navy
Marine Technical Propulsion (MTP)
Vietnam War Veteran

After I completed year 10, I went to see the administrator and I asked him if I can go to university and he said to me we, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, were not allowed to go to university, and that was it. I got really hurt about that. I wanted to study science but there is just nothing you can do, you just accept it and go away.

After that I was going to become a pearl diver. But because a lot of my cousins, relations and my friends had all died from diving, you know it's very dangerous, I said no, I'll get out of all this. A lot of my mates they joined the Navy before me, so when the Navy recruitment came to the school I joined up. A lot of my friends were marine engineers, so I thought if they can achieve that in the Navy so can I, and that's why I became a marine engineer.

I just went in and did my service to my country and I thought it was the right thing to do. When you serve your country, you're doing something for your country.