Discovering unique challenges and benefits
Flight Lieutenant Rosie Taouk knows how important different perspectives are for problem solving.
CAPTION:Royal Australian Air Force flight test engineer Flight Lieutenant Rosemary Taouk conducts flight test training in the United Kingdom in 2020. Story by Flight Lieutenant Jessica Aldred.
Based at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown, Flight Lieutenant Taouk has discovered some unique challenges and benefits.
“As one of the first few women to be flight test engineers in the Air Force, this has come with its unique set of issues – I am the shortest aircrew member at my unit, for example, and this has sometimes raised things that had previously never been considered, such as women’s stature or shoe sizes,” Flight Lieutenant Taouk said.
“It also means that when we perform a flight test, we can consider the aircraft from the perspective of a wider range of aircrew with broader percentiles and I am proud to be a part of this.
“Though it is sometimes a difficult path, I am really happy that I can bring new considerations and more inclusivity to the table.”
Flight Lieutenant Taouk said diversity enables our people to bring a unique snapshot of world views, perspectives and experiences to the table.
“One perspective is not enough in our modern and complex world – the richness of the backgrounds of our Air Force personnel ensures that a problem can be viewed from multiple angles,” she said.
“I believe that my upbringing in Lebanon and my fluency in French and Arabic bring a unique skill set to Air Force, which I am ready to employ to serve my country and am so proud that I can bring to the table.
“I also believe that my experiences in the Middle East have shaped my devotion to diplomacy, peacekeeping, honouring others’ heritage and culture, and love for history.”
Flight Lieutenant Taouk was inspired by her father’s career in the Lebanese Army, so she joined Air Force in 2016 as an aerospace engineer. Becoming a flight test engineer in 2020 was a dream come true.
“My father is a retired brigadier general in the Lebanese Army. He had always felt like a personal hero and unattainable example. As such, I never thought I had what it took to join the military, nor was it a goal until the later part of my studies as an aeronautical engineer,” Flight Lieutenant Taouk said.
“I always found human flight deeply fascinating and whimsical, and I have wanted, since I was a kid, to be a part of the technology that enables giant metal beasts – which to my eight-year-old mind were ‘heavier than lots of buildings’ – to seamlessly glide through the skies.
“The tumultuous political climate encountered in childhood has made me even prouder to be an Australian and sharpened my dedication to our Air Force and military service. I never take for granted how lucky I am to be an Australian woman.”