Corporal Victoria Takai feels fortunate to return to country after posting to Thursday Island for her role as a communication systems operator.
CAPTION: Corporal Victoria Takai at her posting to Thursday Island as a communication systems operator. Story by Wing Commander Jaimie Abbott.
Earlier this year, she was posted to C Company, 51 Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment at Sarpeye Barracks on Thursday Island.
Corporal Takai identifies as both an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman and is one of just seven full-time staff on the Island, among the 100 personnel within the sub-unit.
More than 90 per cent of the team are from the region.
“For some people, posting to the Torres Strait is considered a remote location but I was born on Thursday Island and felt so fortunate to come home and be a part of protecting the Torres Strait, in addition to spending time with my family,” Corporal Takai said.
Corporal Takai joined the Army at 18 after realising she needed a career change.
“At one point in high school I was working three jobs while studying,” she said.
“I switched to full-time in food retail when I finished, and at 18 when they offered me a management role, it gave me a choice to continue down that path or try something different and join the Australian Defence Force.”
As part of her role, Corporal Takai manages cutting-edge technology, such as satellite terminals and advanced security equipment, to provide military communications across different networks around the world.
She said no day in signals was ever the same and her career included an attachment to an amphibious infantry battalion as part of the whole-of-Defence amphibious training across land and sea.
This contributed to her desire to work in more complex roles within the battlespace communication specialist field, where she is trained in tactical, voice and data communications, advanced field antenna construction, network security and specialised software applications.
In addition to the duties expected of her rank and trade, she is required to operate dislocated from the nearest signal support in the complex and culturally diverse area of the Torres Strait.
She also assists in remote Indigenous community engagement and recruiting operations and believes her previous success in retail has helped her readily build rapport.
Corporal Takai also assists with the mentoring of other Army members by providing training and instruction, ranging from basic soldier skills, individual weapons handling, operating and maintaining communication equipment as part of the Regional Force Surveillance Unit.