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Annual Report 2013-14

Feature profiles

Profile | Rebekah Stefenac

Rebekah finds an inclusive culture at Defence

Service: Australian Public Service
Group: Defence People Group
Age: 20
Birthplace: Westmead, NSW

‘My mum was adopted out as a child and lost contact with her Aboriginality until she was much older. I was seven when I found out I was Aboriginal and had many relatives I didn’t even know about. Since then I’ve established strong relationships with my Aboriginal family and I’ve cherished my time with them.

‘Dad is a lovable man but has a very fiery spirit. I’ll never forget my uncle’s wedding, when I saw how determined he can be. Only four kids from the whole family were allowed to go because they were over 15, but my dad wasn’t going to let that stop his younger kids from going.

‘During high school, I coordinated lots of Indigenous student events across New South Wales. On some occasions, people tried to prevent that happening because they felt uncomfortable about it. Whenever this happened, I was always more determined, and I surprised myself with how hard I’d work to make sure the events went ahead. Looking back on it, I think I showed the same kind of determination displayed by my dad when I was growing up.

‘Soon after I turned 19, my mother gave me the idea to work for the Government, so I applied to the Australian Public Sector Indigenous Traineeship Program. I chose Defence and was accepted. Since then, it’s opened a lot of doors for me that I wouldn’t have found anywhere else.

‘During my traineeship, I moved across a few areas of Defence such as the National Integrated Panelling Authority and into the Enlistments Cell, all of which are a part of Soldier Career Management. At the end of my traineeship, I transferred and I am currently working as an APS 3 administrative officer in the APS Talent Management Team.

‘In this role, I assist in the delivery and evaluation of Executive Level 2 and Executive Level 1 development programs. I also assist with collating forms, résumés and with the administrative aspects in the delivery of information sessions for participants as well as liaising with the Canberra-based project managers.

‘I wanted to work in Defence because of its culture: it’s very positive and inclusive and that makes me strive to continue to be a part of it.’