Navy, Army and Air Force Women Showcased at WA Expo

Navy, Army and Air Force Women Showcased at WA Expo

Navy, Army and Air Force women in Western Australia got a chance to tell their ‘war stories’ in June, at the Perth Convention Centre’s ‘Every Woman Expo.’

The expo explored the lives of women, and featured more than 300 interactive displays and demonstrations about food, fashion, fitness, finance, investment and careers.

Female sailors, soldiers and airwomen took the opportunity to talk to hundreds of visitors about their jobs, and discussed the unique aspects of being a woman in uniform.

The hands-on Defence Force Recruiting display didn’t look out of place amongst the stalls full of cookware, chocolate, wine and make-up, and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) volunteers fielded many questions from interested guests, young and old.

“So many of the women wanted to know what it was like being a female sailor in the Navy,” said Leading Seaman Medic Rebecca Lawrence.

We were approached by a lot of young women who were about to leave school. They were looking for some future direction, and were curious about a career in the ADF.”

“Most of the women we spoke to were unaware that the ADF offers so many career options, aside from being an infantry soldier. It was nice to be able to expand their knowledge of what we do,” said Lawrence, who is currently working for Defence Force Recruiting.

For some of the ADF volunteers, the expo presented an opportunity to address some common misconceptions about life in the services.

“It was really nice to get out there and show that women in the Defence Force can still be feminine,” said Lieutenant Kimberley Healy, HMAS Stirling’s Gunnery Officer.

“It’s important to show that women in the ADF can maintain their female identities despite doing tough and sometimes dangerous jobs. And some people don’t realise that many of us successfully juggle our careers with motherhood,” said Healy.

Numbers counted in June 2012 showed 18.4 percent of Navy’s permanent force were female, while women made up 13.8 percent of the ADFs permanent force overall.

Naval Today Staff, July 24, 2012; Image: Australian Navy