Veterans’ Employment Program


I spent twenty years in the Australian Defence Force. I’ve done nine and a half years’ service,
had one major deployment to Afghanistan. I joined the Air Force in 1999. My name is Elaine Robe. I’m a director for the tax practitioner’s board which is a portfolio
under the Australian Taxation Office. My names Tascha Loadsman and I am an on-base adviser in the Department of Veterans Affairs. So, I’ve had two very disparate roles in
the Australian Public Service thus far:
one is a marine tactical officer,
basically working on the northern coast line of Australia conducting boardings; the second is an Executive Officer working in the Border Force Capability Division providing high-level administrative support to SES officers. The Australian Public Service, like Defence, provides a lot to the community and there’s
many, many opportunities in the Australian Public Service to give something back to the community whether it’s in a policy role, a programme delivery role or a technical support role. I wanted to transition as many of my skill
sets as possible over into a role which took advantage
and used me to my full potential. Basically, the Australian Public Service offered the best opportunity to do that as there were
a lot of things that were similar between the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Public Service. The diverse roles that you do,
in defence, you move every couple of years. You might be doing similar roles but different roles,
frequently and often. I think that diversity of skills and knowledge allows you to be very much a generalist and I know many of my military friends in
the Australian Public Service and in the private sector, we are generalists. We can pick up pretty much any job and run with it. A lot of the skills that we acquire as defence members; initiative, good communication, good personnel skills, and taking up a leadership
role and analysing problems, we find that we use
them day to day without realising and that is appreciated by the APS hierarchy. You know there are resources available to
people, there’s organisations that can help you
with the interview process, there’s organisations
that can help you with your CV’s, in demilitarising
your CV, there’s online resources about how to
address selection criteria and the wording to use. So there’s a lot of resources available to
people out there who are thinking of making the transition. Everything that I ever learnt in
the military is usable in some capacity whether it be your communication, your leadership, your analytical skill or your planning skill, it all comes
to the fore at the appropriate time. I think it’s important for ADF members to understand that
they are useful in some capacity in any job that they will ever do but in the APS it’s super important because there’s a lot of people that understand and see that immediately and then put you in the right spot. I think that one of the most important things
for people when they are making the transition
from defence to the public service is to think
about the interview process because in Defence you
don’t get an interview in many cases for your next
job. You get promoted on how well you perform in
your current job, how well you perform against
your peers, and then to be taken from that environment and have to go out and sell yourself in an interview can be very daunting for people
but don’t forget that what you have done, you
can talk about it in a way that meets the APS criteria. So, don’t be too daunted by the interview process
and just think about what you’ve done, what
you’ve achieved and how you can present it in that interview. The main advice I would give anyone leaving
the Defence Force is don’t underestimate your
value, your worth or your skills. Make sure you sell yourself. You have it in you. If you are thinking about joining the Australian Public Service and you had any, sort of, concerns or issue about it, I would look back at the history and the training that you’ve had
in the Australian Defence Force, I’d look back
at what you’ve achieved while you’ve been in the Australian Defence Force, and if I was you
I’d be very comfortable that you could take those
skills and be employed in a wide range of roles in the Australian Public Service If you are thinking about it, don’t just think about it, give it as go.

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