Employers sample Defence life

Selected Australian employers enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience life in the Australian Defence Force Reserves during BossX International 2023.

CAPTION: Australian Army soldier Private Thomas Marshall, right, from the 3rd Health Battalion, fits a blood pressure cuff to Megan Stifler, Deputy Commissioner Strategic Capability, Fire and Rescue NSW. Photo by Corporal Michael Currie.

Nineteen Australian bosses from private and public organisations visited the Australian Army Rifle Company Butterworth rotation in Malaysia for a week in early February.

BossX International provides employers of reservists, as well as leading business people, with first-hand experience of the type of work and training their civilian employees undertake during their ADF reserve service.

Employers learnt basic field craft, ate from ration packs and participated in military training activities under the supervision of the deployed officers and soldiers.

Army reservists Private Kate Markowksa, who is on rotation with the Rifle Company Butterworth, said she was grateful to her civilian employer, who released her for a recent period of reserve service.

“It meant so much to have her support. You never will know exactly what you are doing and you need to be flexible. I only had one week’s notice before I had to leave and I was on holiday at the time,” Private Markowksa said.

“I was so happy when I found out my employer was visiting me here in Malaysia. She got to see my work in the Army.”

Her civilian employer, Regional Security Manager for Wilson Security Neryl Joyce, values the skills Private Markowska has gained through her time in the reserves.

“Even though I was going to cop the loss of a really good guard at one of my sites, I knew the experience and skills she was going to gain would really benefit her civilian role and the business,” Ms Joyce said.

“Experience and striving for excellence – it’s that lived experience that we cannot wait to have back in our workplace.”

Head of Joint Support Services Division Major General Douglas Laidlaw said Australian employers were impressed at the nature and extent of the skills acquired in the Reserve and how those skills transferred to the civilian workplace.

“Businesses are stronger with reservists in their ranks. Businesses benefit greatly from the world-class training and skills acquired in the reserves, and the character-building activities employees regularly engage in,” Major General Laidlaw said.

“Leadership, motivation and teamwork are core values developed and used by reservists and, of course, these skills are also highly valued by any employer.

“Understanding the benefits of a shared workforce will enable employers to manage that workforce for the benefit of their organisation, the employee and more broadly the Australian community.

“BossX International is a key Defence activity that not only showcases the benefits of employing reservists, but is an opportunity to thank employers for their valued support.”

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CAPTION: BossX International participants with personnel from Australian Army and Air Force before boarding a RAAF C-17 Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberly, Queensland, for Malaysia. Photo by Corporal Michael Currie.


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