Defence Force Recruiting targeting kids on TV

Through the educational television series Ultimate Classroom, Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) aimed to inspire Gen Z to consider a Defence STEM career.

CAPTIONFlight Lieutenant Rebecca Marshall, an electrical engineer and operations officer posted to 1 Combat Communications Squadron, with Ultimate Classroom hosts Eddie Woo and Stephanie Bendixen. Story by Private Nicholas Marquis. Photos by Tamara Robinson.

And a study of the series’ impact on viewers indicated some success.

The partnership with Channel 10 and Paramount Plus, was part of DFR’s recruitment campaign for STEM-driven pathways.

Not only was it nominated for a Logie award this year, but a survey of 400 Gen Z viewers showed an increase in STEM knowledge of almost 30 per cent.

A study allowed DFR to track the interest in its programs after the show and also identified a 7 per cent increase in those considering joining Defence in a STEM career.

Lined up for a second season, Ultimate Classroom was DFR’s first use of a television program as part of recruitment.

DFR National Media Manager Jessica O’Mara said the show incorporated a focus on technical skills, mathematical equations, leadership and teamwork.

CAPTIONRAN Marine Engineer Officer Lieutenant Joseph Melbin, from Amphibious Afloat Support Group, talks with students during the egg drop challenge on Ultimate Classroom. 

“Ultimate Classroom aims to attract prospective candidates to a STEM career, ultimately leading them to apply for a role within the ADF,” Ms O’Mara said.

“The goal was to entertain and inspire our target audience through broadcast and digital channels, while shifting their perceptions of what a career in the ADF can offer.”

The four-part series featured high school students competing in STEM-based challenges with ADF mentors.

The Defence lead for Ultimate Classroom, Squadron Leader Sharron Kinloch, said each challenge was allocated a uniformed mentor from a related field.

“For building bridges, we had Army engineers, which allowed the children to ask questions about that specific area,” Squadron Leader Kinloch said.

“By the end of the two weeks of filming, some of the children had already submitted applications or were in the process of applying to Defence.”

CAPTIONAustralian Army Engineering Officer Captain Zac Bryant, from 6th Engineer Support Regiment, with students during the bridge building challenge on Ultimate Classroom.

Although the show missed out on a Logie, the DFR team is hoping season two will take one out.

“Our program is unique in that it is the only show within the awards to showcase Defence capability,” Ms O’Mara said.

“I would see that as a win, even though we didn’t win the Logie.”





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11 thoughts on “Defence Force Recruiting targeting kids on TV

  • 23/08/2023 at 10:13 am

    How does the very demanding job of operating an AFV in the Army on Operations equate to Operating a Rubbish Dump Truck when you leave the Army? Possibly you looked for other jobs and were turned down in preference for younger applicants, but all that is being offered is a Rubbish Truck Operator’s role?? So because your Superannuation is not enough – you take the Rubbish Truck Operators role, and then you are over worked, doing the same old repetitive work for the next 20 years.
    DO NOT JOIN THE ADF ! Your capabilities and expectations are fine-tuned and developed by the ADF, then society lets you down.

  • 20/08/2023 at 7:12 pm

    Dear All,

    As others have rightly stated here, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for your own sake, do not join the ADF or any other high risk vocation in the Australian Public Service.


    Because as a Veteran of 21 years service, and as a former senior Commonwealth Officer serving for a collective period of 27 years in total, I can categorically state that for the last 40 or so years, a succession of Governments and Parliaments have had a demonstrated propensity to not look after those who have fallen gravely ill or succumbed to severe employment ending injury resulting early medical retirement.

    Politicians, aided and abetted by their snot gobbling beaucratic enablers, have whittled away various superannuation and compensation entitlements, or more egregiously, they have purposely legislated their way out of meeting the Commonwealth’s obligations.

    Indeed, one such situation surrounding superannuation invalidity benefits happened most recently in June 2023, where against all the compelling evidence placed before the Senate, not one Senator stood up and defended the legal rights of 32,000 invalidity recipients, 10,000 of whom are Veterans.

    They did so because they didn’t want to listen to the truth and/or accept that a massive error in public administration had occurred, and the estimated $10B financial liability that was/is associated with an error that has resulted in nearly 40 years of tax being unlawfully withheld against federal public sector invalidity recipients.

    The Government’s reps in the Senate instead decided to run a mickey mouse Senate Review where they didn’t invite one person or representative organisation that had an opposing view, and when in the end they just legislated near on 40 years of THEFT as a way to extinguish such liabilities.

    In addition to this, for the last decade 27,000 Totally & Permanently Incapacitated Veterans havevbeen fighting tooth and nail to have their compensation payment fixed; a payment where its economic loss component only measures at ~62% of the gross Minimum Wage. By any measure this level of compensation for never heing able to work again is just not cricket.

    No matter the financial inducements that may be on offer, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE … do not join, for your own sake, and the sake of your family.

    Yours sincerely

    Peter Thornton
    TPI Veteran

  • 20/08/2023 at 3:37 pm

    I am a Vietnam Veteran and a National Serviceman. In 1999 when we were committing troops to East Timor I asked my then 15 y.o., who had recently medalled at Nationals U16 2000m steeplechase, if he would consider joining the Army as he was just the type of fit and young person the Army would love to have.

    He replied, “no way Dad, they didn’t look after you why would they look after me.” He was referring to none other than DVA.

    The bottom line is if the ADF don’t first destroy you DVA will all too often, keep trying for the rest of your life.


  • 20/08/2023 at 1:30 pm

    Absolutely don’t enlist. I sit in hours of Royal Commission evidence. Defence, DVA, Govt Ministers responsible and ESO’s such as RSL and Soldier On don’t have any new ideas. They just keep repeating the same failures. My Dave is dead along with 2,000 others. Not to mention the thousands and thousands simply surviving (not living or thriving). It seems everyone can be bought to ensure the demise of the veteran once discarded. That’s my child, don’t let it be yours. ????????

  • 20/08/2023 at 1:08 pm

    Don’t Enlist Until It’s Fixed:

    All the gloss that conceals the cancerous Black Mould that is The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) i.e. it’s corruption, criminality and involvement in engineering veteran suicidality (ideation-planning-attempts-deaths) destined to target, isolate, ruin and undermine many kids for life, should they sustain lifelong permanent injuries while doing their ADF Job.

    Knowing what I know about DVA I cannot in good conscience recommend ADF service to any kid let alone adult.

    Don’t Enlist Until It’s Fixed.

    Martin Rollins
    DVA Survivor, Whistle blower & Defence Service Contract (DSC) Activist.

    • 21/08/2023 at 8:58 am

      Enlisting in the defence forces is a wonderful, fantastic, fulfilling life time career move these kids are being bombarded with. If only i could manage to take my veteran husband to visit each and every kid that has heard these lies , maybe they would realise that it comes down to DONT ENLIST UNTIL ITS FIXED.
      These kids will be told that they will be as their families will be entitled to job security, health care, many benefits that other employers don’t cover, entitlements galore etc etc etc.
      FACTS- The defence force are desperate as the enlistment percentage has declined at a rapid rate. Nearly as much as the percentage of veteran suicides. I bet these kids were not informed of drug trials being conducted on our defence members which has caused not only families to crumble due to the side effects of these trials but also suicide and attempted suicide. I bet these kids were not informed that if you suffer an injury , and let’s be honest, the percentage of that happening is quite high and that’s just with the training, you will be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Career ending injuries. Yes they will be entitled to compensation for these injuries but to get that they must deal with DVA. And let’s face it kids, government organisations don’t like giving out money unless it’s to their own pocket. It will take all of your energy and resources you have left to get any compensation. So then you will be left to fend for yourself while drowning in depression and many other mental health issues on top of any physical injuries. . My husband discharged in 2004 after many physical injuries and due to the drug trial where the army used him and thousands of others as Guinea pigs , so many mental illnesses that has caused many suicide attempts.
      So please kids DONT ENLIST UNTIL ITS FIXED. .

  • 20/08/2023 at 1:06 pm

    Here’s one for the Readers.

    Would you let YOUR KIDS enlist in the A.D.F.?

    Before answering.
    Think about our dismal Win/Loss ratio since 1945.
    Our appalling treatment of Veterans.
    The rampant dissatisfaction with Service conditions.
    The A.D.F.’s zero Societal standing in Australia,
    The endless U.S. Cultural fads now mandatory in the A.D.F.,
    That all decisions regarding their deployment are made in Washington.

    Why would you want that for your Children?

    Neutrality for Australia!


  • 20/08/2023 at 12:27 pm

    The majority possibly all the world’s defence forces are, and always will be comprised of MEN, yet in the supplied photos above and in almost all photos and scenes of our defence forces (and police for that matter) the public is fed pictures of women, majority women or pictures which must have a mix of women and men.
    I suggest Defence dump woke advertising agencies which are almost entirely staffed by sooki-la-la’s who push their woke society destroying agenda instead of correctly selecting a target audience and advertising to it.

  • 20/08/2023 at 10:02 am

    You will note on the current recruiting posters there is almost never a weapon in site – one that makes this ex RAAC member laugh is the one that refers to a “job that you love” with a female soldier in pressed cams, in the commanders cupola of an APC, with beautifully manicured nails, makeup and hair in place with a big smile. Missing as follows:
    1. Helmet / headset and mike
    2. Goggles / eye protection,
    3. Pintle mounted MG,
    4. gloves’
    5. map,
    6. sidearm carbine / pistol, and
    7 dirt on face.
    Other than that very realistic.

  • 20/08/2023 at 8:59 am

    General ADF recruiting via TV is based on unrealistic images, seeking to project expectations that a life with our forces is based on flying aircraft, jumping out of helicopters and conducting humanitarian missions.
    It depicts nothing of the thousands of hours of a different world and heaven forbid that we should show combat injuries and the longlasting price of PTSD.

  • 20/08/2023 at 8:58 am

    General ADF recruiting via TV is based on unrealistic images, seeking to project expectations that a life with our forces is based on flying aircraft, jumping out of helicopters and conducting humanitarian missions.
    It depicts nothing of the thousands of hours of a different world and heaven forbid that we should show combat injuries and the longlasting price of PTSD.


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