I love the flexibility of fitting the Army Reserve around my full-time civilian work and my part-time acting. I think, for anybody working a traditional 9 to 5 job, it’s a perfect fit. It’s also great to be able to supplement my income with tax-free pay, and get the opportunity to see and do different things that I wouldn’t get anywhere else.
Operation Bushfire Assist was a powerful experience for all of us, and an opportunity that I never imagined I would get to do. It was very rewarding, and the local communities in regional Victoria, in the Alpine and Gippsland regions were very welcoming of the Army. One time when we were stopping on the road for food, one of the local kids - a girl of around 5 years old - came up to me to thank me for helping out with the bushfires. It was a very heart-warming moment.
I was also particularly lucky to get a job with CIMIC (Civil and Military Cooperation), driving and visiting around 20 towns in the Alpine region on a community engagement role, speaking with local residents, shop owners, council and state government officials and police to assist with a report on how local communities regard the Army – which was overwhelmingly positive!
While the Reserve is not for everyone, I would definitely recommend it! If you have any friends or family in the Army Reserve, that would be the best place to start to ask questions and find out if it might be something you would enjoy.