The backbone of Operation Mazurka, chief clerk Sergeant Stephanie Brooks, wields a keyboard to keep our troops on track.
CAPTION: Sergeant Stephanie Brooks concentrates on the task at hand while working at South Camp in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Story and photo by Petty Officer Lee-Anne Cooper.
Deployed in Sinai, Egypt, Sgt Brooks is chief clerk for the Australian contingent to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
The MFO mission supervises the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace.
The Australian contingent assists in the peace process by preparing daily operational briefings and supporting the MFO Headquarters.
“Mazurka is not your conventional deployment,” Sgt Brooks said.
As the chief clerk, Sgt Brooks’ roles are broken into general administration, financial and postal services.
“There are a lot of little jobs that fall under my umbrella,” Sgt Brooks said.
The general administration includes ensuring pay and allowances are correct, actioning operation logs and tax zonings for members of the Australian Contingent.
Another large part of her job is the financial component as the budget manager, providing policy and guidance to the command team. She is also the cash officer operator and manager.
“The big difference is that everything here is in hard copy and physical cash; at home everything is electronic,” Sgt Brooks said.
“I feel like the banker in Monopoly.”
The postal service is another area that she manages, including sending and receiving mail within the Australian and American postal system.
The opportunity to deploy on Operation Mazurka was a chance for Sgt Brooks to increase her breadth of experience as a personnel capability specialist.
“At home I am in the resource management area; here I am gaining more admin exposure,” she said.
“I am cross-skilling and that is invaluable experience.”
As if Sgt Brooks isn’t busy enough, she is currently undertaking her promotion course for the rank of warrant officer.
“In my spare time I study,” she said.
“Sometimes I have to get up in the middle of the night for assessments because of the time difference back in Australia.
“I am a driven person and am passionate about making sure I give it 100 per cent.”