Science and agriculture led to environmental health career

Flying Officer Jamie Clifford’s interest in the world around her led to her becoming an Air Force environmental health officer.

CAPTION: Air Force environmental health officer, Flying Officer Jamie Clifford from No 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron, looks for mosquito larva in samples of water during Exercise Regimen White 21 at RAAF Base Amberley. Story by Flying Officer Robert Hodgson. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke.

But there were a few twists and turns along the way.

Science and agriculture were two of her interests at school.

“Science because I love knowing how things work and agriculture because it is an industry I was brought up in,” Flying Officer Clifford said.

After finishing school, Flying Officer Clifford went on to university and graduated with a Bachelor of Rural Science.

She then spent more than a decade working as an agronomist, providing crop nutrition and pest-control protection advice to farmers.

“I have worked all over eastern Australia with roles in agriculture, mainly specialising in soil and plant health,” Flying Officer Clifford said.

After completing a graduate diploma of environmental health, the prospect of a career in Air Force as an environmental health officer opened up.

Environmental health officers are responsible for implementing control strategies aimed at protecting the health and safety of Air Force members from environmental or workplace risks, whether they are working on a base or further afield on exercises or operations.

Services provided by environmental health officers include checking water and food safety, noise and lighting surveys and vector control.

The job has a lot of variety, brought about by the diverse nature of Air Force working environments.

“I love how broad the role is. It means I get to interact with all areas of the Australian Defence Force and constantly do different things,” Flying Officer Clifford said.

“I really enjoy going on field exercises and getting to put all the training and my skills to use.”

And in doing so, she is ensuring the health and safety of her fellow serving members.






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