Kapooka VIP Challenge 2019

BUSINESS leaders from NSW and Victoria were put through their paces at Kapooka during the annual VIP Challenge, on May 9-10.

The activity, hosted by the Defence Reserve Support Council (DRSC), encouraged employers to experience the benefits of employing reservists.

Manager of the Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce Casey Wilson was one of 16 employers who took part.

She thought it would be good to find out what reservists do.

“My Dad was in the Regular Army for 21 years and, until I was 10, we used to move every two years between Sydney, Melbourne and Puckapunyal, which was awesome,” she said.

Ms Wilson believed employing reservists enhanced the workplace because they brought extra skillsets.

“They’ll have more drive and more passion in what they do – I’d employ a reservist,” she said.

Her advice to reservists applying for jobs was, “to go for it”.

“If you’re after a good job, apply more than just once,” she said.

Employers shared a hotbox lunch with a platoon of reserve recruits.

Ms Wilson had a lunchtime chat with Rec Barry Coleman from Wodonga.

Rec Coleman, from UNSWR, is a Qantas A-330 pilot when he’s not doing Army Reserve duties.

He said the Reserve gave him a life balance between doing white collar work and soldiering.

“I’d always wanted to join the Army Reserve, but with learning to fly and getting where I am with Qantas, I never had time,” he said.

“Qantas is really good to work for when you’re a reservist - when I wanted time off for Army, they approved my leave in 24 hours.”

Rec Coleman said he enjoyed the discipline and people on his recruit course.

“There will be some long term friendships made here,” he said.

“As a person, I’ll improve my skills and self-development and be less inclined to complain about little things.”                                                                                        

After trying her hand at abseiling, Ms Wilson said she’d do it again.

“It was fun, but I just can’t stop shaking,” she said.

“The scariest bit was leaning over the edge just before you go.

“I’m glad I did it though – my friends wouldn’t think I’d do something like this, so I’m pretty proud I did.”

Two Riverina-based employers, John Farthing of Consec Security, and Andrew James of APJ Building, also received Supportive Employer Awards at a dining-in night in the Blamey Barracks Officers’ Mess. 

High profile employers Ivan England (left) and Grant Taylor, both from Bathurst, NSW, try on uniforms at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, NSW, on May 9.

Imagery available at:  Defence Image Gallery

Produced by: Sgt Dave Morley



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Last update: Tuesday, 18 June 2019

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