By Odette Jonelynas
Last week, from Monday to Wednesday, I had the amazing opportunity of participating in a work experience program with the Australian Defence Force. The program covered the breadth of work in the Army service.
There were sixteen of us in total and, being the only female, it was encouraging to learn about the high equality that the Army offers within all of its careers. The work experience program provided me with necessary information, as well as many memorable experiences.
Each day we would meet at 8am (or, as we referred to it, 0800 hours) at the entrance to Enoggera, and would be driven around the base throughout the day, ending at 4pm (or 1600 hours). After the introductions and briefing on the first day, we were given a shirt and cap that we would wear throughout the three days, and headed off to the Army Malaria Institute. We were given information, as well as a tour throughout the labs and mosquito room. We then headed over to the Army Aviation Regiment, where we attended a presentation that was held in a secret conference room where planning and classified discussions are usually conducted. We also covered the Royal Australian Artillery Regiment and Military Police Unit, as well as the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment. We saw the drones that are used by the Army, as well as tried to fly smaller versions of them.
On the second day, we went to the Battle Simulation Centre, which soldiers use to practise going into battle. We also participated in the physical fitness test, which everyone must take when applying for the Army. Most of us met the requirements; however, we were all tired and hungry. But luckily there were the delicious lunches that were provided throughout the program. We also went to a few war memorial museums and was given a tour at the RAR Memorial Walk. To finish the day, we went to the Night Training Facility, where we walked through both the Jungle and Urban scenarios, crawling through underground tunnels and climbing through rooms.
On the final day of the program, we attended a recruitment presentation, which gave everyone insights about the recruitment process, and gave us the opportunity to ask any questions we had. We were then given a tour through the soldiers' accommodation on the base, and walked through army vehicles and tanks at the Light Horse Regiment. We finished off the program at the Weapons Training Simulation System, where we fired real guns that were connected to a simulation. It was the high light of the week for many, myself included.
These three days gave me an insight to the many jobs and experiences available within the Army, and gave me even more motivation to work towards to my dream career. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in the Defence Force. It is an incredible experience, and I would happily do it again any day.