The benefits and diversity of careers available to women in the ADF were on show at the Women in Defence Careers Expo in Darwin on Saturday.
CAPTION: Defence Force Recruiting specialist, Sergeant Donna Hayes talks with two women about a career in the Defence Force during the Women in Defence Careers Expo. Story and photo by Jacob Joseph.
Leila and Tianke were among more than 300 people who attended the inaugural Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) expo to find out where a career in Defence could take them.
Leila came to the expo with her mother to find out what roles were on offer and options for a work-life balance.
“My partner has just enlisted in Navy and I wanted to see how much time we could spend together if I joined up as well,” Leila said.
“You do a lot of research online but it’s not until you come to an event like this and get to see all the equipment and speak to people who are doing the job that you get a feel for the different roles on offer,” Leila’s mother, Lilly said.
Tianke came to the expo looking for information about a cabin crew position and wanted to find out what you actually do in the job.
“I spoke to a person from DFR and she answered all my questions and helped me, I have already been in Air Force cadets for a while and I really liked that, and it got me thinking about pursuing a job in the Air Force,” Tianke said.
In a lineup of exhibits that included military working dogs, 3D printing and unmanned ground vehicles, it was the Army helicopter flight simulators that proved to be one of the more popular attractions.
Major David McEvoy said the flight simulators were part of the aviation STEM motivation program, and members of the public experienced a simulation of flying a Sikorsky S-76 around Sydney Harbour.
“It’s a fully immersive experience and what they’re seeing in the goggles, is felt underneath them in the seat at the same time,” he said.
Defence Force Recruiting senior military recruiting officer for Northern Territory, and Kimberly Captain Hayden Foureur said the aim of the expo was to raise awareness about career opportunities in the ADF.
“Currently approximately 20 per cent of the ADF workforce are female employed across a variety of capabilities. We want to increase this by demonstrating how diverse a career in the ADF can be,” Captain Foureur said.
“The subject-matter experts here are currently serving and represent the diverse nature and capabilities of the Australian Defence Force. The ADF personnel were able to talk directly about the different roles to members of the public.”
“We’re so happy to see the success that we’ve seen and it will be bigger and better next year.”
Although the theme for the event was Women in Defence, Leading Seaman Simone Henare from DFR Sydney said she fielded questions from an equal mix of men and women.
“There were a lot of young kids getting exposure to the Defence Force,” she said.
“With about 240 different roles in the ADF, it was a bit of a shock to people who didn’t know about all the jobs in the different services.”