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Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

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Former members and their stories

Leaving the military is a significant life changing event for many ADF members and their families. Below are some examples of members who have recently transitioned from ADF and into civilian life.

Rebecca, Former Navy

“When I first made the decision to leave Defence, I applied for several jobs and went to several interviews before I found the perfect fit.”

Rebecca was born and raised in Liverpool, Sydney. Following employment with a national insurance company, Rebecca made the decision to join the Royal Australian Navy. She was looking forward to proudly serving her country as an Able Seaman, as well as gaining more job security.

Rebecca spent four years with the Navy as a Support Operations Sailor at HMAS Watson and HMAS Kuttabul, which included two years at sea. Then she made the difficult decision to focus on developing a career in office administration.

Rebecca said she found it important to keep up-to-date with her studies and to maintain a positive attitude despite the knockbacks.

Rebecca now works for the state government promoting and assisting small business and she is enjoying the variety of work and the opportunity to learn new things. She says she is also walking away with positive memories.

Kent, Former Navy

“I got in touch with my local ADF Transition Centre, booked an appointment, and started talking to a Transition Coach. My coach put everything into a nice, logical process so that I didn’t feel as overwhelmed.”

Kent was born and raised in Dubbo and joined the Navy straight after finishing year 12. He served for just over 15 years reaching the rank of Petty Officer, and trained as an Electronics Technician, maintaining communications equipment and navigation aids on warships.

This year, Kent felt the time was right to transition to civilian life. He was finding it harder to be away from his children, and they were finding it harder for him to be away for long periods at sea. But he said he had no idea where to start with his transition.

Kent knew it was a big change and there was a lot to plan but wasn’t sure what to do when he left the only real job he’d ever had.

Kent and his family have moved to Newcastle to be closer to family and he is enjoying the flexibility in his new job at a steel manufacturing company. His advice for members looking to leave Defence is to talk to ADF Transition and other support services available.

John, Former Air Force

“My Transition Coach was amazing and helped me greatly with my transition. The mentoring and coaching they provided was a key factor in achieving a smooth transition to civilian life.”

John was in the Air Force for almost 38 years and reached the senior rank of Group Captain. He served initially as aircrew on Maritime Patrol Aircraft, before moving into Policy, Strategy and International Engagement.

While John would have liked to continue in the Air Force, he understood the organisational need for an early transition and took advantage of the support offered by ADF Transitions. He found his experience with ADF Transition to be very helpful and appreciated having someone to take a personal interest in his future.