Agfest ripe for Army pickings

Hailed as a main event in Tasmania for many years, Agfest is an ideal recruiting ground for Army.

CAPTION: Lieutenant Oliver Breeze of 2nd Force Support Battalion chats with Austin outside the Army display at Agfest in Tasmania. Story by Major Tim Sydenham.

More than 45,000 people visited the event, held in Carrick this year, at which Army recruiting and Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) took out the best large site competition between more than 550 exhibitors.

Army Attractions, part of Directorate of Recruiting, provided additional resources.

Director Recruiting Colonel Kimberlea Juchniewicz said Army was always keen to take part in Agfest.

“It was great to be able to send Army’s people to support the event, engage with the community and raise awareness and interest in a career with the ADF,” Colonel Juchniewicz said.

“We recognise the great results that have been obtained over the years by the local Army team and DFR.

“A significant part of Army’s recruitment efforts relies on our own members representing the service.”

The recruitment of Army’s future workforce has always been a key priority, and is emphasised in the release of the Defence Strategic Review that outlines the need for an innovative and bold approach to recruitment and retention.

As a result, a number of changes and initiatives are coming within the recruiting environment.

“Over the coming year, we are aiming for a personal candidate focus from Army as well as the integration of the new recruiting contractor, Adecco, so we are excited about building the Army workforce,” Colonel Juchniewicz said.

Lieutenant Oliver Breeze, who has attended the event for a number of years, said Agfest delivered recruiting outcomes for Army.

The troop commander at 2nd Force Support Battalion is a passionate unit recruiting liaison officer.

He enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1996 after chatting to a recruiter at Agfest.

“I ran an agricultural contracting business and was at Agfest in 1996 promoting machinery and equipment,” Lieutenant Breeze said.

“As I was near 12/40RTR [12th/40th Battalion, Royal Tasmania Regiment] for the four-day event, by the end I had worked out that I would make a good fit for Army Reserve and was inspired to join after talking with the team about the opportunities available.”

With a number of family members having served in the military, including at Gallipoli, Lieutenant Breeze said Army service ran in his blood.

He has served in a range of roles, from infantry soldier to medic, and most recently as an officer with the Transport Corp.

“I have been fortunate enough to travel to New Zealand, East Timor and even the US and Canada as part of the Prince of Wales award,” Lieutenant Breeze said.

“Agfest provides a showcase for Army recruiting. It’s the best return of investment and we will get more EOIs and applications here than anywhere else.”


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