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Our People in NSW

Angela Paulo - Wollongong girl spends Anzac Day in Afghanistan

Wollongong’s Angela Paulo will be in Afghanistan rather than by the sea when she commemorates the 99th anniversary of Anzac Day.

Private Paulo, 21, the daughter of Liz and Marco Paulo, is serving in Afghanistan as an Australian Army Supply Coordinator and specialises as the ledger clerk and liaising purchases officer in Australia’s Camp Baker in Kandahar.

The former Figtree High School student said she will join more than 250 personnel who remain in Kandahar for the train, advise and assist mission for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) at Camp BAKER for the Anzac Day dawn service

“Being deployed overseas on warlike operations in Afghanistan for Anzac Day is going to be a lasting personal and professional memory,” she said.

“The surrealism of being a part of something so unique and different, and on such a global scale too compared with other people my age, will definitely be at the top of my list of amazing experiences.”

Private Paulo joined the Army after working as a call operator for the New South Wales State Emergency Service and a stint at university.

“I was studying at the University of Wollongong but didn’t finish it because I got bored of just studying, so I joined the Army and the next thing you know, I am here!

“I did three months of basic soldier training at Kapooka in Wagga Wagga followed by three months of initial employment training at South Bandiana in Albury.

“My current role covers the a range of stores and warehousing functions, as well as dangerous goods handling, liaising for stores requirements and liaising with Coalition Forces.”

Though deployed overseas, she admits to missing home and thanked her family for their support during her time away.

“I definitely miss the coastline because I would spend hours and hours at the beach swimming, surfing or just generally hanging out with friends and my siblings.

“Wollongong has such beautiful scenery from the beaches to the mountains and I’ve always really admired that about it.

“The thing I look forward to most is having a salmon and eggs benedict breakfast at my favourite café by the beach!”

Following the completion of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province last year, Australia’s efforts have shifted to a nationally-oriented mission throughout 2014, providing training and advisory support to the ANSF.

About 400 ADF personnel will continue to work in Afghanistan in 2014 through training and advising the ANSF in both Kabul and Kandahar.

Approximately 800 personnel provide support from locations within the broader Middle East Area of Operations, as well as conducting maritime security operations at sea.