Learning and sharing history and culture

When speaking about her time in the Air Force, Leading Aircraftwoman Katie Smart credits the people she has met and the training provided as the best part of her job.

CAPTION: Leading Aircraftwoman Katie Smart is an Air Force Reservist and works within BHP as an emergency service officer. Story by Flight Lieutenant Claire Campbell.

Born in Wiradjuri country in Griffith, NSW, and growing up on Darkinjung land on the Central Coast, she joined the Air Force in 2018 as a medical technician and posted to the 2 Expeditionary Health Service (2EHS) detachment at RAAF Base Pearce, WA.

In reflecting on what the theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week means to her, Leading Aircraftwoman Smart thought about what it means for others too.

“Not only for myself but for a lot of other people, it’s about learning and sharing Aboriginal Australia’s history and the culture and learning together,” she said.

After two-and-a-half years working at 2EHS, which included supporting flying operations at Learmonth and Joint Health Command, Leading Aircraftwoman Smart transferred to the Air Force Reserves.

She still regularly works at RAAF Base Pearce, and outside of the Air Force, she flies in and out of Port Hedland as an emergency service officer for BHP.

“This is similar to the medical technician role, however it is more focused on fire, rescue and patient health care,” Leading Aircraftwoman Smart said.

“We support every event that happens as part of a team – there’s always someone else around. In this venture, I’ve found more of who I am.”

For National Reconciliation Week, Leading Aircraftwoman Smart plans to engage with the local mob in Port Hedland.

One of the most important aspects of her life is being with her family, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic where the only contact was over the phone.

“I try to spend as much time as possible with my family, particularly my mum,” Leading Aircraftwoman Smart said.

“She moved over from NSW to spend more time with me and reconnect.”


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