Lucy joined the Australian Regular Army in 1999 and discharged in 2006. Here is her story...
Lucy: My first posting was to 3 Brigade Administrative Support Battalion, which became 3 Combat Service Support Battalion Townsville, for three & half years where I was working in the transport yard, doing what truckies did, moving cargo, moving the Infantry (Troop Transport) out bush or on exercise and plenty more activities like this. While I was posted to this unit I was deployed on Operation for six months to East Timor.
After this I asked for a posting back to Victoria, and was posted to 26 Transport Squadron, as I wanted to return closer to Geelong, where I am from. At 26 Transport Squadron they had bigger trucks and did longer exercises. My posting at 26 was a highlight of my career. We would do longer exercises because most of the exercises we had to travel up north.
We would move Armoured Personnel Carriers and take them to Darwin or Townsville on exercise. After three and a half years at 26 Squadron, I asked to stay in Puckapunyal for personal reasons (being closer to family) and from this I was posted to the School of Artillery.
I decided to stay another 12 months at the School of Artillery and again for personal reasons made the decision to discharge.
When I made the decision to discharge, I didn’t really know what I was going to do in civilian life. I just wanted to get out and move back to Geelong. Also at this time my relationship had broken down and I was very lost and on my own again but, I still chose to leave the Army and thought moving back to family and friends would be a good idea.
I completed the Transition Seminar prior to discharge and organised a Veteran affairs claim.
On the 23rd December 2006 I was driving home to Geelong as a civilian. I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with my life. I was on my own and at 27 even had to move back in with my family. After three weeks off, I still didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, I was lucky that my mum worked in a Job network agency and she helped / pushed me to get my resume ready to send out to people. Two weeks later my resume landed on the desk of Rob Dejanovic from AGB Training. Rob rang me for an interview and nine & half years later I am still with the same company. I was placed on a traineeship with the company and have worked my way through to a management role, which I currently am in. Today my roles include managing and running a Licencing centre within AGB training.
This is where we teach people how to drive heavy vehicles from light rigid through to multi combination, and can subsequently issue them an appropriate licence as we are Vic Roads accredited.
I also run part of our non-for profit arm of the company called Community Veracity where I run programs with corrections Victoria and Work for the dole programs. As an Operations Manager I oversee up to 15 staff in these various roles at any one time. I also take a hands on teaching role myself when required.
The best advice I can offer people looking to discharge would be make sure you get your qualifications recognised before you discharge, swap them over to the equivalent civilian qualifications. Sign up to a Job placement agency, there are lots of them out there that can assist you and many times they will know of jobs that may not be advertised. Be persistent!!! You just have to put your face out there and keep calling or sending your resume out or dropping them in to places. And finally DON’T GIVE UP!
Lucy’s Employer Rob.
Rob: As a person who has had military experience myself, I was familiar with the type of training a person would receive in the Defence Force. Taking on an ex Defence Force member like Lucy meant that I would first and foremost obtain an individual who understood structures, meeting tight deadlines, receiving and acting on instructions to their best abilities, honesty, adapting to the environment and most of all a sense of urgency. In today’s employment environment, these are difficult traits to come across.
Through our organisation’s experience, employing ex Defence Force members, meant that team based work groups worked closer together, to achieve organisational tasks. When the pressure was on to complete projects, humour was used to ease people and focus on the tasks. I would encourage organisations to take on veterans.
We thank AGB Training for being a veteran friendly employer.