The bond between a mum and her daughters has been strengthened by their Reserve service.
CAPTION: Private Shamila Muthia Azami, second from left, with her daughters Private Seema Muthia, left, Private Uma Muthia, and Private Anissa Muthia at Oakleigh Barracks, Melbourne. Story by Captain Kristen Cleland. Photo by Private Michael Currie.
Shamila Muthia Azami has been an Army reservist for nearly two decades, and while currently holding a position as an administration clerk at the 15th Force Support Squadron, 17th Sustainment Brigade, she is also a qualified linguist and former driver.
However, Shamila said her greatest achievement was raising her three children – all of whom are active serving Army reservists in 4th Brigade units in Victoria.
Shamila said it was valuable to have things in common with her daughters, and was proud to serve her country alongside them.
“Given that guarding my loved ones and the nation has always been my primary role, joining the Army Reserve was the best way of performing that role on a bigger scale,” she said.
All three daughters are determined to follow in their mother’s footsteps, considering she was the inspiration for them enlisting.
Private Uma Muthia is a combat medical attendant and Private Seema Muthia is a driver, both with the 4th Combat Service Support Battalion, while Private Anissa Muthia is a combat support clerk for the 22nd Engineer Regiment.
The sisters parade regularly at either Oakleigh or Ringwood.
All three sisters were deployed on Operation Bushfire Assist, and they regularly work together. However, none of them have worked with their mother.
Anissa and Uma have been in the Army for 11 years, and Seema has served for almost five years.
Seema said her mother’s advice and experiences in the Army have played a big role in her own Army career.
“She had previously been a driver in transport and loved it, and recommended it to me when I enlisted,” Seema said.
“She knows what I’ve been through and understands my experience – we never run out of things to talk about.”
Anissa and Uma went through Kapooka together 11 years ago.
“My mum and sisters are my biggest motivators,” she said.
“The bond definitely strengthens – up until pieces of my uniform go missing.”
Uma said a common situation she had to deal with was being confused with her sisters.
“They see the last name and continue a conversation they started with one of my sisters,” Uma said.
“I hear lots of stories about my mum as well, because everyone knows her.
“Mother’s Day is a celebration and appreciation of the hard work and sacrifices mothers are making for their loved ones. But really, every day should be Mother’s Day.”