Career flies following gap year

Former ADF Gap Year program participant Corporal Shayna Antonio swapped a job in administration for a career as an avionics technician.

CAPTION: Corporal Shayna Antonio, left, and Sergeant Phillipa Finlay conduct an inspection on an MRH-90 Taipan engine at the Army Aviation Training Centre, Oakey, Queensland. Story by Captain Carolyn Barnett. Photo by Mary McKenzie.

Corporal Antonio said she originally enlisted in the Army as a command support clerk as part of the Gap Year Program.

“I decided to change from an administration role to a technical job in avionics and I haven’t looked back since,” Corporal Antonio said.

Avionics technicians are multi-skilled soldiers who are responsible for the maintenance of Army aircraft communication, navigation, radar, electrical, electronics and instrument systems.

Technical roles in aviation directly support Army’s capability and preparedness requirements.

Corporal Antonio said there were many opportunities with Army Aviation and working on state-of-the-art helicopters was just one aspect.

“I have had the privilege to put my trade skills to the test on Black Hawks and MRH-90 Taipans,” she said.

“In my current role as an avionics instructor at Rotary Wing Aircraft Maintenance School, I also get the chance to pass on my knowledge to trainees.”

Corporal Antonio said a career highlight for her was an exercise she took part in with the 6th Aviation Regiment.

“It was truly awesome to be given the chance to tandem skydive out of a Black Hawk while participating in an exercise in Perth with 6 Aviation Regiment,” she said.

She said one of the unique facets of the role was working with people across the ADF and other nations.

“From working on Navy’s LHDs [landing helicopter docks] on amphibious operations to being employed on Air Force bases, there is a lot of variety in my work,” Corporal Antonio said.

“Aviation is a truly triservice and integrated workplace.

“I would say to anyone looking for a career change in a technical trade, give it a go.”





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