Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents 21
Defence since July 2005; SES since October
2003. I took 14 months off both to live overseas
from April 2007–June 2008.
I joined up as a RAAF cadet at ADFA in 1990.
Between 2000 and 2005 I worked as a contractor to
Defence and then joined back up as an APS in March
2005. I joined the Rural Fire Service in October 2003.
Defence – 18 months; RFS – 5 years.
I have been with Defence since April 2006 and
with the RFS since October 2006.
What are the most rewarding aspects
of working with Defence?
Working in an organisation that is overall
supportive of its people and not solely-focussed
on processes. Personally, I think that flex-time,
Studybank and Emergency Duty Leave are great. I
have also been blessed with supervisors and work
areas that have been very supportive of my SES
LTcOL Paul Murphy:
Working with the people who make up the ADF
and seeing the outcomes of Defence’s activities.
Providing a quality product for the end user –
that is, the guys and gals on our ships at sea.
WO1 Kevin Mauger:
My career in Defence has been very
rewarding, presenting many challenges and being
able to make a difference to the outcome of some
tasks and operations is great. I have been lucky
enough to see some great places and meet some
LcDR Lewis gaha:
Diversity of work challenges – even within
the same job, benevolent employer and social
structure of the Defence work environment.
Being supported in my training as a professional,
as well as being supported in my SES role (and
previously in my reservist capacity as well) all at the
It is being a small part of the team that is
trying to be a good world citizen. I believe the
Defence Department, through humanitarian efforts,
actively promotes world goodwill to Australia for
the benefit of all Australians.
The fact that Defence sees itself as a
responsible part of the community and integral
in its core role in helping out in situations like
this (Victorian bushfires). It’s a very flexible
The interesting work that I do. I highly value
the fact that I get to contribute to something
bigger than myself and not solely in pursuit of
the almighty dollar. While this goes for all of the
public service, I enjoy the strategic and political
dimensions of my work and the challenges that my
daily work carries.
What have been the most rewarding
aspects of your community service?
Since I joined the SES in 2000, I have
learned so many diverse and great skills – from
the very practical skills such as general rescue,
communications and land search to the more
academic skills like field leadership and incident
management. I am part of a close-knit, fun and
highly-competent team and I have been fortunate
enough to have been involved in some of the
larger emergency operations in the ACT in recent
times. And sometimes you get to help somebody
who really needs it.
LTcOL Paul Murphy:
Making my personal, and on behalf of
my family, a direct contribution to the local
community. Part of this is meeting people and
of course contributing to public safety, both of
the ACT and interstate when required. Since
joining the RFS, I’ve been involved in fire-fighting
campaigns in Sydney, Canberra and Victoria.
The most rewarding aspect of being in the
SES is being able to do something for your fellow
Australians in their hour of need.
WO1 Kevin Mauger:
The SES is something I’ve always wanted to
do and I hit the ground running. My first task was
the Newcastle floods and since then I have got
stuck in and gained as many qualifications and
done as many tasks as possible, including major
tasks like the Victorian fires. The most rewarding
thing though has got to be the people – you can
arrive at any job (even in the middle of the night)
and when you get there it’s on, and everyone gets
in to get it done. And from jobs like that you meet
some fantastic people from all walks of life.
LcDR Lewis gaha:
The ability to give yourself in a physical way
to aid the community, and utilise training and
career knowledge gained in Defence to assist
other RFS members. For example, peer support
skills have helped brigade crew members in the
event of a tragedy.
Being trained in multiple skill sets that I know
can help people and if needed to save lives. I
have also had the opportunity to be given some
highly sought-after qualifications such as a Cert IV
TAA (trainer and assessor), with the SES paying for
the whole thing.
To me the most rewarding aspect is helping
the community. I was a little touched by many
people thanking us for our help when we stopped
for lunch on our way back at the Albury RSL.
With the Fire Service, you’re involved in
helping with the community and giving back in a
really positive way.
I’d actually like to see a one-year compulsory
service to one of these organisations once you
leave school. It would really help with recruitment.
The fact that I get to give back to society,
the adrenalin rush, the mateship and the host of
additional skills that I get trained in, up to and
including things like 4x4-wheel-driving instruction,
chainsaws and helicopter.
LefT: Defence employees who
deployed with the Rural fire service
(yellow helmets) or state emergency
service (orange helmets) during the
Victorian bushfires. Back row (L-R):
Vicki Munslow, eamon Parker, James
Brown, Benjamin Bryant, Donald Roach,
graeme Billett; front (L-R): Lieutenant
colonel Paul Murphy, Lieutenant
commander Lewis gaha and Warrant
Officer class One Kevin Mauger.
Photo: Mark Brennan
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