Fighter jets and frying pans have as much in common as bombs and biscuits, but a “why can’t I” attitude took former chef Joshua Fuad from the heat of the kitchen to supporting F-35s as an engineer.
CAPTION: Flight Lieutenant Joshua Fuad, 17 Squadron, at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. Photo by Corporal Hayden Young.
“Don’t let your place in the world discourage you from what you want to achieve,” Flight Lieutenant Fuad said.
Enlisting as a chef with a background in catering, it wasn’t until he met someone from his past that he was forced to contemplate his future.
“The penny dropped for me that day,” Flight Lieutenant Fuad said.
“If someone who grew up in the same neighbourhood as me could be an engineer, then why couldn’t I?”
Soon after, he was enrolled in mechanical engineering under the Defence Assisted Study Scheme (DASS), and juggling full-time work, part-time study and raising a family.
What happened next was “like winning the lottery”.
He was awarded the Lipshut family bursary, which paid for his university tuition, acknowledging his dedication to finishing his mechanical-engineering degree.
He thanked Group Captain Mark Larter for the award.
“If it wasn’t for his support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
The then leading aircraftman decided to study a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering at ADFA, graduated with honours in 2019 and commissioned shortly after.
Flight Lieutenant Fuad said there were people in his life who helped shorten the odds – primarily, his wife Kerrie, who raised their daughters Layla and Hannah when he moved to Tindal unaccompanied to complete his first degree.
He posted back to Tindal last year and is currently serving as 2IC of airbase operations.
“It’s humbling being back where it all started,” he said.