Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents 20
he australian Defence force’s
response to the Victorian
Bushfires was typically swift,
but just as immediate was the
response of volunteers from both
the Rural fire service (Rfs) and
state emergency service (ses).
Many members of these astute organisations
also work full-time for Defence, either as military
personnel or civilians. In fact, 10 per cent of all
the ACT’s SES volunteers to the bushfires were
How they manage their commitments to both
Defence and their community organisations makes
them hard to track down at the best of times,
however, Defence Magazine managed to speak
with a group of volunteers who answered the call
and our questions as well.
What does work-life balance
mean to you?
Vicki Munslow – acting Manager, Joint
Operations support services, acT/snsW:
Work-life balance is a nice thought,
but without the active support and understanding
of our leaders, from supervisor upwards, combined
with the conscious efforts of employees to take
time out for ourselves, the notion of work-life
balance is simply an academic concept.
In all honesty, I don’t feel that I necessarily am
able to always achieve it.
Lieutenant colonel Paul Murphy – command
and control Implementation Team, HQJOc:
I view work-life balance as managing my
professional work with my family life, having
some time to do little things for myself and
participate in the community. Central to this is
my young family. I ensure that I spend a little time
with my family in the morning before going to
work, I try to maintain as regular a work routine as
possible, support (and attend where possible) my
family’s activities and have some quality time each
evening. Weekends are important family time. We
have some routine activities, like to get around
town and the local area, and attend community
events. I also maintain routine interaction with
my local ACT Rural Fire Service brigade as my
contribution to the community.
Donald Roach – Directorate of navy
To me work-life balance means that I can
be flexible with my working hours while still
meeting my work commitments. This means that
I can spend time with my family during those
important times and occasions. A flexible working
arrangement and the fact that the Department
of Defence allows leave for emergencies allows
me to be a dependable member of the State
Emergency Service organisation.
Warrant Officer class One Kevin Mauger
- Test Trials and Operations Manager,
amphibious Deployment and sustainment
It’s about trying to find a healthy balance
between all the things I want to achieve in life.
Being a volunteer is a big part of that balance – it’s
all to do with the commitment for me. My family
is the most important commitment and it can be
difficult at times to keep everyone else happy. My
job has been very supportive to my commitments
with the SES which makes life a lot easier. I
couldn’t imagine trying to be in the SES and work
in a non-supportive work environment.
Lieutenant commander Lewis gaha – staff
Officer Reserves, Directorate of naval Officer
It’s the ability to juggle competing priorities
within the workplace while maintaining a full and
diverse family and social life. I really try to allot
time to the range of social and volunteer activities
I am involved in, and resist the urge to spend
longer at work, thereby taking time from those
graeme Billett – accountant, Directorate of
Having the time to do what I want (not work)
while giving enough time to do what I have to do
I generally start work early so I can have time
to complete extra work or to fit in the other things
that I want to do in the afternoon and evening.
James Brown – Business solutions analyst,
chief Information Officer group:
To me it means having a responsible and
enjoyable home life as well as getting the job
done as best as possible. Sometimes with work
you need to set yourself a time limit on what
can be achieved and you need to prioritise your
work effort, doing what is urgent and important
first. Sometimes, unfortunately, you can’t do
everything and you just have to say sorry to
someone that you could not get that job done for
Benjamin Bryant – Regional environment and
sustainability Officer, Defence support group:
It’s basically about balancing work, family
and community commitments and having a well-
eamon Parker – executive assistant, Defence
It is essential. A strong sense of
professionalism and pride in the workplace is
imperative, however it is important to take a break
from work to enjoy other hobbies and pastimes so
that you work doesn’t become all encompassing. A
break from work with something equally
challenging and rewarding allows me to appreciate
both dimensions of my life more completely.
How long have you been with
Defence and the Rfs or ses?
I have been with Defence for about 18 years
and with the SES for just on nine years.
LTcOL Paul Murphy:
This is my 24th year in the ADF, specifically
Army. I have had postings to Canberra,
Puckapunyal, Kapooka, Melbourne, Darwin and
Sydney. I spent almost eight years with the NSW
Rural Fire Service in the Blue Mountains prior
to moving to the ACT. This is my second active
year with the ACT Rural Fire Service, after taking
a 12-month break last year as I was posted
unaccompanied to Sydney.
I have been with Defence for 35 years – 25 in
uniform and 10 as APS. I have been with the SES
(Rivers) for approx 4.5 years.
WO1 Kevin Mauger:
I have been in the Defence Force for 22 years
and joined the SES about two years ago when I
received a posting to the JP2048 Phase 3 project
(LHD Watercraft) in Canberra.
LcDR Lewis gaha:
Member of the RAN and RANR for 33 years
and joined the RFS in 2005.
answer the call
By Michael Weaver
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