Young women test their wings

Thirty young women from around Australia immersed themselves in Air Force life through the Aviation Programs for Women at RAAF Base, Williamtown.

CAPTION: Air Force Aviation Programs for Women participants try on firefighting equipment at RAAF Base Williamtown. Story by Flight Lieutenant Jessica Winnall. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Samuel Miller.

The scheme kicked off last month to promote diversity and inclusion in Air Force and to test a range of technical and aviation roles.

The residential Aviation Programs offer participants hands-on experience of military aviation, engineering and technical job roles, and an understanding of the day-to-day routine of an Air Force base.

Wing Commander Glenda Preston said the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion team designed these experience-based programs to give positive and tailored work experiences to prospective candidates.

“The programs are integral to Air Force’s work to become an employer of choice for women in technical roles. By offering exciting and challenging careers for women and men, will we be able to continue to enhance diversity and inclusion across Air Force,” Wing Commander Preston said.

“The success of the program to date is telling. More than 75 per cent of participants in our programs have engaged with Defence Force Recruiting,” she said.

Charlie Keyte, a 16-year-old student from Tuncurry, said she was delighted with the opportunity, and had learned a lot about life in Air Force and the role of diversity in a modern air force.

“People from different backgrounds who have unique experience and skills give Air Force the best ability to achieve its needs as a whole crew,” Charlie said.

“I was amazed at how much work, training and teamwork goes into getting aircraft in the air. There are so many different jobs on just one plane.”

The programs were held at RAAF Base Williamtown, in two residential sessions during April and May, with future programs to be held at RAAF Base Amberley from June 25-29 and July 2-6, and RAAF Base Edinburgh from August 27-31 and September 3-7.

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CAPTION: Young women from around Australia stand in front on an F-35A Lightning II during their visit to RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Samuel Miller.


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