Home' Defence Magazine : Defence Magazine Issue 1 2018 Contents 38 Defence Issue 1 2018
“WE HAVE MANY
IN THIS DEPARTMENT,
MANY OF WHOM ALSO
HAVE THE ABILITY
TO TAKE THEIR JOB
Director South and South East Asia Branch,
International Policy Division
VARIETY is the spice of life for Phoebe Greentree,
who recently returned to Canberra from her
posting at the Australian embassy in Brussels
where she was First Secretary (Defence).
“No two days were the same, and I was
always learning. I enjoyed working in a multi-lat-
eral, civilian-military environment and across the
breadth of defence and security issues related to
my role,” she says.
Phoebe was the primary working-level civil-
ian contact between the Australian government
and NATO representing Australia at relevant
NATO committees, covering issues including
operations and the protection of civilians.
She worked daily with NATO’s International
Staff and Allied national representations to advo-
cate for Australia’s interests.
Before entering the Department, Phoebe
worked at the Australian Mission to the United
Nations in New York and in the office of a US
congressman on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
Among other roles she has held in Defence,
Phoebe worked in international engagement in
Army Headquarters, where she was responsible
for supporting Army’s relationship with the US
Marine Corps and the Japanese Ground Self
One of her most memorable experiences
at Defence was leading the development and
implementation of Australia’s policy for Afghans
at risk due to their support of our whole-of gov-
ernment effort in their home nation.
“I deployed twice to Afghanistan to support
our Force Elements and Commanders imple-
ment the policy, during which time I met many
Afghans seeking resettlement,” Phoebe says.
“I was incredibly moved when, the following
year, I saw several of these young Afghan men
again – but this time, just as they were start-
ing their new lives here in Australia. Over 800
Afghans have now been resettled in Australia as
a result of this policy, which is something I feel
very good about contributing to.”
She says the key to success in Defence is
being adaptable, flexible and willing to continue
“ The work is challenging and stimulating and
offers great opportunities for continuing profes-
“ We have plenty of intelligent and motivated
women in this Department, many of whom also
have the ability to take their job seriously, with-
out taking themselves seriously.”
SHOULD AIM TO STAND
APART FOR THEIR
AND COMMITMENT TO
TO ACHIEVE DEFENCE
Assistant Director Strategic Issues Management,
Ministerial and Executive Coordination and
VICTORIA Todd lists her role as Defence’s First
Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Beijing as a
career highlight – a role she was the first to do.
Before joining Defence, Victoria worked on admin-
istrative law cases as a judge’s associate in the Federal
Court of Australia after completing economics and
law degrees. She also spent time as a banking and
finance solicitor for a commercial law firm in Sydney.
Victoria switched from the legal world to
International Policy seven years ago and recently
completing the posting in Beijing.
“I developed this role to provide organisational
capability to Defence and wider government in
progressing our foreign, defence and international
engagement objectives with China,” she says.
“A major part of the role encompassed providing
advice on strategic and operational political-military
issues with implications for Australia and for the
Australia-China bilateral relationship.”
Other important aspects of the role included
advocating Australia’s policy positions to Chinese
and other officials; undertaking extensive representa-
tional duties; and engaging with host nation officials,
local academia, and other international representa-
tives within the diplomatic and military attaché corps
and international organisations in China.
Victoria says she valued the chance to use her
skills, knowledge and experience to work towards
achieving Australia’s international policy objectives.
She encourages other women to follow suit.
“ There are many opportunities to follow an
infinitely interesting and increasingly important inter-
national-focused career with Defence,” Victoria says.
“You get to meet a lot of people in the field which
informs your professional goal-setting and you can
maintain these contacts as a source of support and
advice as you work through achieving them.
“Defence women, like all Defence employees,
should aim to stand apart for their professionalism,
capability, intellect and commitment to working
together to achieve Defence objectives.”
Victoria has recently been appointed Assistant
Director Strategic Issues Management in Ministerial
and Executive Coordination and Communication.
WOMEN ADVANCE DEFENCE
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