Taking time to listen

Growing up in India before moving to Australia in 2007 has shaped Flight Lieutenant Soumya ‘Sam’ Chowdhury’s perspective and attitude to others.

CAPTION: Aviation safety assurance officer Flight Lieutenant Soumya ‘Sam’ Chowdhury at the Defence Aviation Safety Authority office in Melbourne, Victoria.

As an electrical engineer posted to the Defence Aviation Safety Authority as an aviation safety assurance officer, Flight Lieutenant Chowdhury works with many people across Air Force and Defence in his daily work.

He said he has always been encouraged to listen to others.

“Throughout my formative years, I have always been encouraged to hear the other person out,” Flight Lieutenant Chowdhury said.

“As a junior officer in the Air Force, I still try to do that, thereby respecting other people’s views and bringing value to my day-to-day job.

“When you hire people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures, you’re bringing a fresh array of perspectives to the table.

“This can lead to benefits like better problem-solving and increased productivity.”

The combined knowledge, skills and experiences of the workforce is essential to deliver Air Force’s full air and space power potential as part of the joint force.

With more than 25 per cent of the Air Force workforce identifying as being from a culturally and/or linguistically diverse background, Flight Lieutenant Chowdhury said harnessing those experiences could help Air Force succeed.

“I think it is important to have a diverse workforce in Air Force as diversity helps us recognise and respect ways of being that may be different to our own,” Flight Lieutenant Chowdhury said.

“People from diverse cultures contribute language skills, new ways of thinking, new knowledge, and different experiences to our Air Force.”

In honour of the Harmony Week theme ‘Everyone belongs’, Air Force members are encouraged to have respectful conversations and learn about cultures, diverse backgrounds and experiences within their units.

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