Eighteen teens from Melbourne and surrounds joined the team at Puckapunyal military area for four days to see what life would be like if they joined the Army.
CAPTION: Sergeant Steven Banks, left, and Troopers Nic Spry-Gellert and Oscar Johnson educate students from the Defence Work Experience Program on the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank. Story by Major Carrie Robards. Photo by Trooper Marshall Stanfield.
The Defence Work Experience Program, held from September 5-8, provided the opportunity for students to spend a day with Puckapunyal-based training units – the Army School of Transport (AST), School of Armour and School of Artillery – showing them the prospective roles and equipment they would be involved with.
Navi Kaur, Work Experience Manager for Victoria, said the program was valuable for teenagers who had an interest in the Army but hadn’t yet made up their minds.
“The program is a great way for participants to experience what a career in Army and Defence has to offer, rather than just reading about it or hearing about it from someone else,” Ms Kaur said.
“We find the most impactful activities are hearing from serving soldiers who share their personal stories and who clearly love what they do – they are really engaging.
“It’s also great hearing from a range of soldiers who have had different experiences. The female participants were really inspired to hear from two female leaders at the School of Armour.”
On the final day, students toured the Joint Logistics Unit – Victoria, followed by PT and briefs from the Puckapunyal Health Centre, Domestic Policing Unit, Ventia, Proof and Experimental Establishment and Defence Force Recruiting.
There may be a few future drivers in the group, with the AST being identified as a real highlight.
CAPTION: Students from the Defence Work Experience Program check out the interior of the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle at B Squadron 3/4 Cavalry Regiment, School of Armour. Photo by Trooper Marshall Stanfield.
Participants enjoyed using simulators and taking rides in the protected mobility vehicles over a range of terrain.
“We were really impressed,” Ms Kaur said.
“AST were excellent hosts; the soldiers put in so much effort for a really interactive experience.
“They went above and beyond.”
The Defence Work Experience Program was designed to give students across Australia, who have expressed interest in a career with the Army, an exposure to corps, trades and daily routines they would expect should they pursue a career in Defence.