Ivanhoe’s Michelle Ager will be home in time for Christmas with her family after completing a big job in Afghanistan, where she has served as an army lieutenant-colonel responsible for logistics.
Michelle has played an important part in coordinating the logistics of stores and personnel of 43 countries that contribute to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan.
As a graduate of Monash University and management consultant at KPMG, the Army Reserve officer has spent the past nine months deployed to Kabul, as the chief of the ISAF redeployment fusion cell.
"In Afghanistan, logistics occurs under national lines so the supply in and out of theatre is all coordinated at each national level," Michelle said.
"Through ISAF, the directive went out that we needed to drawdown to resolute support, which is a NATO-led mission that commences January 2015," she said.
"The mission Resolute Support relates to the posture and troop contributing nations forecasting how they will drawdown their forces.
"The role of the redeployment fusion cell is to collate the information provided by the 43 nations about their drawdown into a single redeployment picture and report that to our higher headquarters."
Having taken a leave of absence from KPMG and her seat on the board of trustees for the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, Michelle has enjoyed her role in Afghanistan, which she said was a perfect fit for her personality and skill sets.
"The skills that I have as a consultant have been brought to the floor here in the headquarters, particularly in my ability to identify what the real issues are," she said.
"It’s been terrific, '’ve been blessed to work with so many different nations, so many different cultures, languages, experiences, it's just been professionally so rewarding."
With the end of her tour now in sight, Michelle is looking forward to spending Christmas with her three teenage children back in Melbourne.
"Being away from the kids I think has been the toughest part," she said.
"We're a fairly cuddly sort of family, so I have really missed having the hugs with the kids.
"Of course my boys are over six foot so they tower over me and give me terrific hugs."
Michelle is one of approximately 40 Australian Defence Force members currently working at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul in a variety of roles supporting the train, advice and assist mission.