Home' Defence Magazine : Defence Magazine Issue 1 2018 Contents Crystol Fox
First Secretary Defence,
International Policy Division
CRYSTOL Fox first stepped into the world of Defence as a
Health and Wellbeing Adviser, 10 years later she is on second-
ment to NATO working with other international staff on opera-
tional issues in Afghanistan and Iraq.
After her secondment, she will take up her position of First
Secretary for Defence at the Australian Embassy in Brussells.
It’s not Crystol’s first time on a posting, having previously
deployed as a policy officer to the Australian Commander in
She says working in International Policy Division has
allowed her to take advantage of interesting roles and work
alongside a great team.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work in some really interesting
and different roles. You never know what the day is going to
bring,” Crystol says.
“I’ve participated in Status of Forces negotiations to
support Australia’s response efforts following the downing
of MH17 over Ukraine, I’ve sat in the room when Australia’s
Foreign and Defence Ministers have held high-level discus-
sions with counterparts, I’ve worked as the Staff Officer - Policy
to the Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence.
“But perhaps most importantly, I like the people I work
Crystol says she would like to see more women in Defence
leadership roles in the future and urges them to seize any
opportunity that comes their way.
“All of the women I work with are intelligent, strong and
resilient,” she says.
“I think some off this comes from working alongside the
military – this environment teaches you to advocate your posi-
tions confidently and provides you with opportunities that are
often outside your comfort zone.
“ Take advantage of the opportunities offered to you, the
broader your experience the better later in your career.”
“TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE
OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED TO YOU,
THE BROADER YOUR EXPERIENCE THE
BETTER LATER IN YOUR CAREER.”
Counsellor for Defence Policy,
International Policy Division
NOTCHING up almost 14 years in the
International Policy Division, Belinda
McNamara has travelled and worked all
around the world.
Currently the Counsellor for Defence
Policy at the Australian Embassy in Paris, she
has been a peace monitor in Bougainville, a
civilian policy adviser in Afghanistan, accom-
panied a Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Minister to an Anzac Day service in Villers-
Brettonneux and worked on maritime securi-
ty issues from our embassy in the Philippines.
“Here in Paris, I work closely with the
Defence Attache to manage the Australia-
France bilateral defence relationship on the
ground,” she says.
“ The Future Submarine Program is a
central pillar in the bilateral relationship, but
our defence links are much broader. They
range from strategic dialogues and personnel
exchanges, to military exercises and materiel
“Defence also contributes to the
whole-of-embassy effort to advance
Australia’s foreign, trade and international
security priorities. It’s a really exciting time in
the Australia-France relationship and I’m very
fortunate to be a part of the embassy team.”
What Belinda loves most about working
for Defence is the chance to advocate and
defend Australia’s national interests.
“I’m keen to continue working in areas
where I’m making a difference, and being
challenged. I really enjoy my work as part of a
dedicated and highly motivated team; equal-
ly there are lots of interesting opportunities
across Defence and more broadly across the
public service,” she says.
She encourages anybody wanting a
unique and rewarding career to consider
International Policy Division.
“I love that there is never a dull day – the
work is interesting and varied,” she says.
“It is a great privilege to be trusted with
advancing our country’s interests – what we
do has real-life, far-reaching implications for
Australia’s international defence engagement.
“WHAT WE DO HAS REAL-LIFE FAR-REACHING IMPLICATIONS FOR
AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE ENGAGEMENT.”
WOMEN ADVANCE DEFENCE
40 Defence Issue 1 2018
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