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DIVE INTO A FABULOUS
April 1, 2010
By LCDR Andrew Stackpool
ASLT Samantha Gilan had her sights
firmly fixed on the skies when she and
four other female officers took their
first fledgling steps into a career in the
air when they began flying training
at the Basic Flying Training School
(BFTS) at Tamworth, NSW.
ASLT Gilan, LT Erin Pederick,
PLTOFF Jacqueline Baird, PLTOFF
Emily Thorvaldsson and OCDT
Stephanie White began ADF38 basic
pilots' course on February 18.
They are the largest group of future
female pilots to ever attend the BFTS
and also represent 25 per cent of the total
course number of 20 students.
Sydney-born ASLT Gilan is no
stranger to aviation. After completing
Year 12, she worked in office jobs before
beginning an apprenticeship in aircraft
maintenance. She also found time to rack
up 40 hours in a Cessna-152 light air-
Now, she has her eyes set on a bigger
aircraft -- the MRH-90.
"I decided to join the ADF because I
would have the chance to experience dif-
ferent types of flying that are not offered
in the civilian aviation world," ASLT
"I chose Navy because they fly heli-
Despite her previous experience, she
is still a long way from becoming a mil-
itary pilot. CO BFTS WGCDR Mark
Smith said the students had only just
completed the six-week ground com-
ponent. They began flying at the end of
"They are performing very well; how-
ever, they're only at the beginning of
training and there is a long way to go
yet," WGCDR Smith said.
On average they should undertake
nine dual flights and go solo on their 10th.
"For some of them, this will be the
first time in their lives," he said.
He was pleased that so many had
been successful in gaining a place on the
"We are not aware of any trends of
increasing numbers of female officers
being attracted to a flying career; how-
ever, it is very encouraging to see such a
large percentage on course at this point."
On graduation, ASLT Gilan will post
to 2 Flying Training School at RAAF
Base Pearce for more advanced flying
The BFTS is responsible for all
pilot basic training for the ADF. The
unit, together with its contractor, BAE
Systems, provides basic flying training, a
flight screening program and a qualified
flying instructor development program.
Women set to soar
HIGH FLIERS: OCDT Stephanie White, LT Erin Pederick, ASLT
Samantha Gilan, PLTOFF Emily Thorvaldsson and PLTOFF Jacqueline
Baird are the largest group of future female pilots to ever attend the
BFTS and represent 25 per cent of the current basic pilots' course.
By Annabelle Haywood
THE Junior Officers' Leadership
Course (JOLC), recently held at
HMAS Creswell, now includes
modules on leadership and men-
toring for junior officers.
LCDR Wayne Gobert, who co-
facilitated the course with LCDR
Richard Adams, said the new mod-
ules were part of Navy's leader-
ship and ethics project, and were
designed to change the way we lead
"If we can't influence Navy's
leaders, the changes under NGN
won't stick," he said.
"The junior officers here have
received this new training very well
-- they understand the new direc-
tion Navy is taking and are engag-
ing very much in the spirit of the
The new modules in JOLC
By Annabelle Haywood
SYDNEY-based sailor ABWTR
Sally Reiffel is making use of
flexible work options to effectively
balance her Navy career and her
responsibilities as a parent.
ABWTR Reiffel has accessed a
number of Flexible Work Practices
(FWP) throughout her career to
support changes in circumstances,
including 12 months of maternity
leave, part-time leave without pay
and the arranged working hours she
now works under.
"With the help of these practices
and understanding supervisors, I've
been able to balance work and life,"
ABWTR Reiffel said.
"Without the flexible work
options available, I wouldn't suit
Navy's requirements -- I'd have had
no choice but to discharge."
ABWTR Reiffel now works in the
Military Personnel Administration
Detachment at Defence Plaza. Her
manager, CPO Athol Bennett, said
the arrangements had benefitted the
"Having ABWTR Reiffel work-
ing as part of the team here under
a flexible work arrangement is ben-
Navy looks after its
people through FWP
eficial for us and for Navy. We keep
her skills in the workplace and it
allows her to have a better work-life
balance," CPO Bennett said.
ABWTR Reiffel said the increas-
ing awareness of FWP as an option
could only benefit members as their
"It means people can still be pro-
moted and proceed in their careers,"
There are many options for FWP
in the Navy with more of the com-
mon avenues being part-time leave
without pay, temporary home locat-
ed work and variable work hours.
A comprehensive list of FWP options
and advice for managers is available
on the NGN website at http://intranet.
New leadership modules in JOLC
explore self awareness and ethical
leadership in a similar way to that
presented to senior officers and sail-
ors, but have a more interactive ele-
ment with group activities to stimu-
late discussion about what consti-
tutes effective leadership.
JOLC participant LEUT
Courtney McLennan said the train-
ing would especially apply to her
role as an Assistant Divisional
Officer and allow her to lead by
"The course is very relevant to
being a Divisional Officer, so being
taught skills like counselling and
negotiating is very relevant to what I
do," she said.
FLEXIBILITY: ABWTR Sally
Reiffel is making the most of
Navy's flexible work options.
INSET: ABWTR Reiffel chats with
SQNLDR Amanda Robinson dur-
ing the launch of the CDF action
plan for the recruitment and reten-
tion of women last year.
Photos: Kevin Piggot and Bryan Doherty
ship and ethics
course during a
recent JOLC at
Photo: ABIS Justin
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