Employer stories

Learn from some of our Supportive Employers about the benefits of employing Reservists.


Dallas McCosh - Commercial Racking and Shelving

A small business from Victoria has won a national Employer Support Award for its outstanding support of Australian Defence Force Reservists. Commercial Racking and Shelving is based at Koroit, near Warrnambool and employs three people, including Martin Jennings – an Army Reservist.
The company builds, installs and maintains pallet-racking systems in locations including warehouses, cool stores and supermarkets. Dallas McCosh is the proprietor of Commercial Racking and Shelving who says receiving the national award is a career highlight. His Reservist employee, Private Martin Jennings is a Rifleman with the 8th/7th Royal Victorian Regiment.
“Martin had just become a Reservist when he started working for me part-time, about a decade ago,” Mr McCosh said. “Defence has been a good influence on him. I’ve seen Martin develop maturity, responsibility and confidence in that time.”
“I particularly appreciate the communication skills that he’s picked up as a Reservist. He gets on well with our customers and has confidence in his knowledge and abilities.” Private Jennings describes Dallas as “an amazing employer”. “When I get called up at short notice – for a placement, exercise or course, Dallas has been completely accommodating,” Private Jennings said. “He’s an amazing employer and I wouldn’t have been able to have a Defence career if I didn’t work for Dallas.”
“I’ve always felt encouraged and supported and he has never questioned my need to have time off.” In 2012 Commercial Racking & Shelving granted leave for Private Jennings to go on operations for 12 months in East Timor. While he was on deployment they also looked after his financial and administrative affairs and supplied storage for his personal possessions.
The company also used the Employer Support Payment Scheme (ESPS) to allow them to employ another worker in Private Jennings place while he was on deployment. Dallas McCosh says all businesses should be supportive employers of Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reservists.
“Embrace it’s what I say,” he said. “Having your employee away from time to time is more than recompensed by what they bring back with them.”
“Martin always comes back from his Defence duty with something more to add to the business.”

Jenny Rochow - Canberra Hospital

Canberra Hospital is one of five outstanding employers to be recognised for their support of Australian Defence Force Reservists at the Defence Reserves Support Council National Employer Support Awards in Canberra.

Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert presented the awards to the winning employers.

Canberra Hospital, with a catchment area of the ACT and southern NSW, was initially nominated by three of its Reservist staff members and accordingly took out the Public Sector category in the ACT Awards before following it up nationally.  

One of those staff was Intensive Care Unit nurse Amberley Mercovich who is also a Nursing Officer with the 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron. She says the hospital often releases her for Defence duty at a moment’s notice.

“There was a case in 2013 where I was called up to assist with the repatriation of an injured soldier from the Middle East,” Flight Lieutenant Mercovich said.

“I got the call at work at 7am, spoke to my boss at 8am and was out the door and on my way by 8:20.” 

“I was gone for four days but the hospital rostered around me until I got back. They are great like that.”

Another grateful Canberra Hospital staffer and ICU nurse, James Chapman, is a Section Commander with No.4 Combat Engineer Squadron of the 5th Engineer Regiment.

“A couple of years ago I was called up with only a few hours notice to be a part of Operation NSW Bushfire Assist,” Corporal Chapman said.

“My manager simply said to go and that she would make the necessary arrangements behind me.

“It’s incredibly comforting to know that others also see the importance of what I can contribute as a Defence Reservist.”

James’ manager, Nurse Unit Manager in the ICU at Canberra Hospital Jenny Rochow, says that despite being a busy ICU covering a large catchment area, being a supportive employer is not just about the hospital – it’s about the nation.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed that we won the national Employer Support Award,” Ms Rochow said.

“It is a credit to all the Reservists that now work in ICU – a total of eight, up from three when I started as Nurse Unit Manager in 2007.

“They are an asset, not just to the hospital but also to the country. I’m so lucky to have them as a part of my team,” she said

“Since we received it, the award has been shown off at meetings and in wards right across the hospital. It is a prestigious accolade that we are very proud to have received.”

Mr Robert congratulated Canberra Hospital on its attitude to Reservists.

“Reservists will play an increasingly important role as the Australian Defence Force moves towards an integrated workforce model, and your contribution as employers of Reservists to national security and the national interest cannot be underestimated,” he said.

Rex Talbot - Corrective Services NSW

Rex Talbot  width=

Rex Talbot

Corrective Services NSW values patience, cool headedness and self-discipline – skills they find in abundance in Defence Reservists.

Rex Talbot, Assistant Superintendent of the High Security Escort Unit of Corrective Services NSW, believes the Reservist employees in his unit are a cut above the rest.

“I find the quality of staff between Reservists and civilian employees to be majorly different. I’ve found Reservists to be able to think on their feet and stay calm in stressful situations, which is really important in the line of work that we do,” said Talbot.

The High Security Unit alone employs three Reservists.

Corrective Services NSW was acknowledged for their support with an Employer Support Award in New South Wales after being nominated by their Reservist employees earlier this year. And last month won the National Award for the Public Sector Category for 2014.

The Employer Support Awards provide an opportunity for Reservist employers to network and discuss their positive experiences of having Reservists on their staff.

“It’s a great thing that Reservists do for our country and we’re more than happy to provide support and lend a hand in any way that we can,” said Talbot.

“If I had a commercial business I would be employing Reservists every step of the way,” he added.

Eddie Terrell - Operations Manager of Motherwell Automation

Defence Reservists’ life experience, exceptional training and highly developed skills position them as the perfect mentor to young professionals in their civilian workplaces.  

For Eddie Terrell, Operations Manager of Motherwell Automation, the skills that his Reservist employee brings to work not only benefit the Reservist himself but the whole workplace, especially their graduate employees.

“Discipline is the most valuable skill that I notice. Reservists have to be disciplined when they are doing service and you can really notice when they get back into the office. They’re punctual, hardworking, and demonstrate their commitment to succeed.”

It is this disciplined attitude that rubs off on to Motherwell Automation’s younger employees.

“We hire a lot of graduate engineers and I find that being around a Reservist gets them off on the right foot from the start. They follow by example and develop a strong work ethic very early on,” says Terrell.

In addition to their mentoring capabilities, another advantage of hiring Reservists is being involved in employee engagement activities.

Terrell has participated in Exercise Boss Lift – a program run by the Department of Defence’s Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division – to gain an understanding of the essential roles Reservists fill within the military when granted leave from their civilian employment.

“Going to the Solomon Islands was very eye opening. It was great to develop an understanding of the Reservists involvement. The demonstrations at the rifle range and the protective services demonstration gave me a better insight into what Reservists do when they are deployed,” said Terrell.

The benefits of hiring Reservists don’t stop there.

There is also a great sense of pride as well as financial support available to help ease any burden of Reservists on leave in the form of Employer Support Benefits.

Terrell says “the Employer Support Benefits are really great for easing the financial burden incurred when our Reservist is deployed. It does cost us a bit but we believe in what the Reservists are doing and at the end of the day the skills they bring back with them are really worth so much more.”

Steve Flavel - Woody Point Pharmacy

Woody Point Pharmacist, Steve Flavel, is a strong advocate for employing Defence Reservists; so much so, he conducts talks to local school students, employers and community groups spreading the word of the remarkable work that Reservists do for our community.

“I employ a Reservist in my pharmacy and the benefits he brings to my company are second to none. I don’t know any other people to have such strong character and the ability to learn business concepts like a Reservist,” says Steve.

Steve’s support of Reservists was formally recognised by the Department of Defence last month when he received the Defence Reserves Support Small Business Award at the National Supportive Employer Awards.

Held in Canberra, the awards recognise outstanding support of Defence Reservists.

In July 2013, Steve visited the Solomon Islands as part of Exercise Boss Lift – a program run by the Department of Defence – where he saw first-hand the work and training that his Reservist undertook while deployed. 

“Going to the Solomon Islands was an eye-opening experience for me. I got to see the Reservists training in weapons and crowd control, and I also let the Reservists know that they had full support of their employers when they returned home,” said Steve.

Steve acknowledges that while having a Reservist in his company brings a wealth of benefits, a deployment can be hard on the business. For this reason, he is appreciative of the Employer Support Payment Scheme, that helps ease the financial burden of having an employee away from work.

“The Employer Support payments are great for relieving the financial loss incurred when my Reservist is deployed. I think it’s a two way street, we really encourage him to go, but it’s great to be acknowledged and compensated when he is away from work on duty,” said Steve.

Steve doesn’t hesitate to praise Reservists at any opportunity, whether you see him in the street or in his pharmacy.

“The skills Reservists bring to not only my business but to the whole community are exceptional. Making sure people know about it is the least I can do,” said Steve.

Mirek Klosowski - Visy Board

Mirek Klosowski, Technical Manager at Visy Board, was a recent participant in Exercise Boss Lift to the Solomon Islands - an employer engagement activity designed to provide employers the chance to gain an understanding of their Reservists employees defence role and the role of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

"It was a wonderful opportunity to participate in Boss Lift exercise, and understand the significance of the Australian Reservists roles in providing stability and development to the Solomon Islands region," Mirek said.

"I had the benefit of visiting and learning the history of The Guadalcanal Campaign, during World War II and Hells Point, once used as an ammunition dump during that time and still littered with unexploded bombs and ammunition."

His four days provided him the chance to learn more about his Reservist employee, Corporal Brett Lilley, and the kind of skills Brett has and carries out in his role including, strong leadership and organisational qualities - all which are beneficial to Visy Board at various levels.

While Mirek thoroughly enjoyed visiting the historical sites and learning about life on an operational defence base, his highlight was shooting a range of defence weapons at the shooting range and he was equally impressed by the professional way in which the Defence personnel conducted the activity.

"The Australian Defence Force is highly skilled organisation. I was very impressed by the honourable and dedicated soldiers I met, every individual is highly trained with valuable skills," he said.

"Exercise Boss Lift is a great way to enhance social perception about the Army Reserve and fantastic opportunity for engagement with employer to support honourable cause. I cannot thank Defence Reserves Support enough for the great success that Exercise Boss Lift is."

Peter Anderson ‒ Chief Executive Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

"The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as Australia's largest and most representative business organisation, strongly encourages Australian employers to support the Defence Reserves. We strongly affirm the benefits which accrue to industry and our nation from men and women who combine their civilian employment and careers with defence service.

We stand alongside the Defence Reserves Support Council in the links it has forged with the business community, large and small.

Our experience tells us that collective effort by many individual employers can make a real difference, whether to our economy or our national well-being.

The testimonials from employers who employ Defence Reserves are testament to the mutual benefit that work and service provide.

Even though real benefits and incentives exist when employing a Reservist, none of us should be thinking only about ourselves. Those that serve, do so selflessly.

I encourage the business sector to do so likewise."

George Maltabarow ‒ Managing Director Ausgrid 

"The values and high standards of the Defence Force are closely aligned with those of Ausgrid, which is why I'll always jump at the chance to employ a Defence Reservist. You know that they'll be reliable, that they'll have integrity and that they'll be hungry for success.

We pride ourselves on operating a reliable and safe electricity network. The leadership skills, teamwork and discipline of Defence Reservists make it easier for us to achieve that. While Defence Reservists do require time off work to serve, their deployment and training strengthens those leadership and teamwork skills.

I'm proud to say our workforce has a strong sense of duty with many of our staff volunteering in their local community, and our Reservist employees are a prime example."

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Marcus Blackmore AM ‒ Chairman of Blackmores

"... the extent and quality of the training they receive can be invaluable to a business."

"I'm going to be honest here, in the beginning I thought having Reservist employees was little more than a community service obligation in support of our country. But I've since come to learn that the extent and quality of the training they receive can be invaluable to a business. They're disciplined, organised, work well under pressure and add an air of confidence to the workplace.

Recently I took part in Exercise Boss Lift and got to see Reservists on deployment genuinely helping to keep the peace in the Solomon Islands. It gave me a greater understanding of what Reservists do in military life and left me with a lasting sense of pride because I now know what Reservists do for our country. And personally, I think these people deserve a lot more recognition for the enormous contribution they make. So for all these reasons and more, we at Blackmores wholeheartedly support Defence Reservists."

Giam Swiegers ‒ CEO Deloitte Australia

"The world of finance and risk management is extremely stressful, demanding and is constantly evolving. Which is why learning on the job, working in a team, showing leadership and attacking each and every day with discipline are skills valued at Deloittte.

We have a saying in our business, "Leadership isn't about leading people where they want to go, but where they ought to go". I find that those with military training not only understand the value of this, but are also capable of implementing it. There can be no doubt Reservist training has assisted them with their work performance, motivation and ability to think on their feet. And those skills go a long way to ensuring their success as well as Deloitte's."

Cav. George Belperio ‒ Fasta Pasta Founding Director

"It's my belief that good things happen when opportunity meets preparedness. And in my business, preparation is everything, which is why I like Reservists. They bring a lot to an organisation, they're highly motivated, highly trained and have excellent attitude and aptitude.

While I've seen these skills put to good use in the workplace, it was only when I went on an employer engagement activity, that I got to see Reservists really get down to business. Frankly, I was totally blown away by how capable and competent the team was when the chips were down. Let me tell you, these people are there when our country needs them and I'd trust them with anything."

Catriona Noble ‒ CEO & Managing Director McDonald's Australia

"Our business is a fast paced, around-the-clock one, which is why I like Reservists. In my youth I was a Cadet Under Officer, so I know first hand how well trained military staff are. My Reservists are flexible, focused, have high energy levels and can both lead and take direction. And we need all of those attributes to ensure we deliver each and every customer our promise of outstanding quality, fast and friendly service and the highest standard of cleanliness.

Reservists make up a valued portion of our diverse team. While things can and often do change while they're away on service, Reservists' attention to detail and ability to focus on and learn new procedures within short timeframes, means they pick up where they left off without any trouble. Employment flexibility is one of our promises to all employees, and the return on our investment in Reservists is an enormous bonus."

Assistant Commissioner Graeme Barton (APM) - South Australian Police


Brian Sambell, Graeme Barton & Craig Robinson - Exercise Boss Lift Dec 11.

Graeme Barton - Exercise Boss Lift Evacuee Searching Station 02 Dec 11

Graeme Barton - Exercise Boss Lift Evacuee Searching Station 02 Dec 11

South Australia Police (SAPOL) provides a broad range of police and community services to ensure the safety and security of the South Australian community. Comprising over 5000 police and civilian employees, they are responding to the challenges presented by their diverse and ever-changing environment, while striving to provide the highest possible level of service to the community. Having served as a Police Officer with the South Australian Police for over 40 years, Assistant Commissioner Graeme Barton APM has provided support to the community through Operation Support Services, Protective Security Services, Southern and Northern Operations Services and Human Resources Services.

"We are a progressive and responsive organisation, ensuring our reputation for honesty, integrity and community satisfaction continues to grow, so we have similar aims and values as the Australian Defence Force (ADF)," said Graeme. With more than 170 Reservists employed by South Australia Police, Graeme acknowledges that both organisations develop skills in individuals that translate well between both forces. Having recently been involved in an Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, Graeme has seen first hand just what it is that Defence Reservists can bring to a civilian employer.

"Both organisations require leadership, good problem solvers and communicators who can take control of a situation with confidence and in varying conditions and these are the skill sets that are often most prevalent in both Reservists and Police Officers."

While at times, short notice for deployments can provide some challenges around manpower, Graeme is highly supportive and willing to give Reservists every opportunity to take Reserve leave when required.

"The experience and new skills they bring back from ADF deployments or training, continue to make those individuals even more valuable to us, so we will always encourage and support our Reservists in their defence roles."

His Worship Brian Sambell - Mayor of Gawler

As Mayor of the town of Gawler and a proud South Australian, His Worship Brian Sambell is a passionate and involved member of the community. With a diverse background in industries across tourism, community events and retail Brian knows exactly what to look for in a great employee.

Having recently been involved in an  Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, Brian has seen first hand just what it is that Defence Reservists can bring to a civilian employer.

"Exercise Boss Lift in Northern Queensland has been a real eye opener. Spending time with these Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel has allowed me to see first hand what enthusiastic, dedicated and hardworking people they are. You wouldn't find a better worker to employ anywhere else and I am really looking forward to getting back to Gawler and promoting Reserve service to the many contacts I have in South Australia.

"The interesting stories and unique experiences these people have to tell you about have been a real highlight. From the young ones who are so confident at what they do through to the more senior personnel who are still so passionate and proud of what they do, twenty years in."

For Brian, the experience gave him the opportunity to see a fully operational camp set up by the Royal Australian Air Force's Combat Support Group with a functional hospital, air traffic control team, security force, fire fighting team and catering service.

"It's really impressive to see that the defence do train their personnel to such high levels in preparation for what could be, real life scenarios in support of providing humanitarian relief through to a natural disaster. The camaraderie and professionalism of the team as a whole surpassed any expectations I had. I would strongly recommend a Boss Lift experience to any employer to gain insight into just how valuable Reservists can be to a civilian employer."

Andrew Ramsay - NT Cricket Chief Executive Officer

Andrew -Donnelly -&-Alan -Alwood -NT-Cricket

Chief Executive Officer of Northern Territory Cricket Andrew Ramsay with Alan Alwood of Defence Reserves Support Council  -  Launceston in the back of an MRH90. 


Chief Executive Officer of Northern Territory Cricket Andrew Ramsay with Wing Commander Smith, Commanding Officer at Airfield Williamson during Exercise Precision Support 2011. 

Northern Territory Cricket (NT Cricket) is the peak body for cricket in the Top End, engaging approximately 13,000 Territorians in the sport annually.

With a significant number of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel playing regularly across the Territory, NT Cricket has strong ties with the Defence Force and has even hosted the ADF cricket team in Darwin for the 2011 Arafura Games.

Chief Executive Officer of NT Cricket, Andrew Ramsay, recently participated in an Exercise Boss Lift held in northern Queensland. Exercise Boss Lift is an employer support engagement program coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division. "Exercise Boss Lift was a real eye opener for me. I was really impressed with the professionalism and team work of the ADF personnel. The experience gave me great insight into the importance of Reservists enhancing capability of the ADF," said Andrew.

For Andrew, the exercise provided a lot of first time experiences, from a ride in a Royal Australian Air Force fire truck, to travelling in a C-17 Globe Master and learning how to handle an F88 Austeyr rifle.

"To have been able to have these unique experience that most would not have the opportunity to do was a great aspect to the Exercise Boss Lift program," he said.

"As a direct result of this trip I will definitely continue to be an advocate for Defence Reservists. Seeing just how passionate, motivated and patriotic these defence personnel are, has demonstrated to me that having them in my employment in the future would be of benefit to me and my organisation."

Glenys Jones - Department of Veteran Affairs


Caption: Glenys Jones - 5AVN  Blackhawk  01 Dec 11

The Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) mission is to support those who serve or have served in defence of our nation and commemorate their service and sacrifice.

Glenys Jones, currently a manager in the F-111 Compensation team has provided over 30 years of service to the DVA with involvement in providing the full range of benefits available to Australian veterans, Defence personnel and their dependants. She also works with and manages current Defence Reservists in her work place and therefore has a good understanding of their roles and the kinds of challenges faced by both Reservists and employers when managing the balance between both.

Having recently participated in Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, Glenys was able to see first hand just how diversely skilled Reservists are and the high level of training they received.

"Coming away from Exercise Boss Lift, I was just amazed by the personnel, some of them quite young, who had the confidence to talk about and demonstrate their role to national senior executives. They were not over-awed in being confronted by such a big group of us, they were friendly, enthusiastic and passionate," she said.

The experience, which saw Glenys join other employers in northern Queensland and view Reservists involved in Exercise Precision Support, provided her with the chance to experience a ride in a C-17 Globe Master and the opportunity to learn how to handle an F88 Austeyr rifle.

As an avid traveller and adventurer herself, Glenys recognises that the ADF can provide unique experiences to Reservists and is a strong advocate of providing the support required for when Reservists in her team need or want to take Defence leave.

"What they bring back from these experiences are translatable skills such as teamwork, camaraderie and leadership, which are of benefit to any civilian company and an enriching experience for the Reservist themselves."

Jack Smorgon AO - National Chairman DRSC

Mr Jack Smorgon AO, has been recently reappointed as the National Chairman of the Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC), which provides a link between the Australian Defence Force (ADF), employers and the community from which the Reserve force is drawn.

The DRSC aims to enhance the availability of the Reserve component of the ADF by promoting the benefits of employing members of the Reserve. The DRSC also aims to establish a flexible partnership with the community and employers so they are encouraged to support those in the Reserve.

As National Chairman, the three-year appointment will see Jack engaging with employers to ensure that there is a broader understanding of the role of Reservists in the community and adequate support for Reservists to perform their duties when required. 

"I am very excited about being reappointed to this role. The role of Australian Defence Force Reservists is an important one and promoting the benefits of Reservists is something I am very passionate about," said Jack.

With a broad network from the many committees Jack is involved with, one of his main aims will be to grow the number of supportive employers of Reservists.

"Reservists are imperative to the capability of the ADF, and I intend to reach out to the many contacts I have throughout a diverse range of industries to get them onboard as supportive employers of Reservists."

Jack recently participated with 20 national employers in Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division.

"For the employers, it was a great opportunity to be able to experience first-hand just how important the Reservist's role is to full time capability. The feedback from them demonstrated that these kinds of activities can make a difference in gaining support from the wider community." 

Ben Gulliver - Chief Financial Officer of Saab

Saab is a global company, whose principal activity in support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the development and support of combat systems on ANZAC class frigates for Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Financial Officer Ben Gulliver has regular business interactions with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as an alliance partner and is well versed in where ADF personnel's strengths lie in the civilian working environment.

Ben recently participated in an Exercise Boss Lift to northern Queensland, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division. While here he had the opportunity to see Defence Reservists in their military role.

"It was a fantastic experience. I have a lot of admiration for Reservists, they are committed, organised, and passionate about what they do," he said.

"At Saab we have a Supportive Leave Policy in place because Reservists do have the type of characteristics we look for in employees and they need that support in order to balance their Reserve duties with their civilian jobs."

For Ben, watching a C-17 taking off and landing at night time, through a night vision scope was something he had not experienced before and he was highly impressed by the Australian Army's Blackhawk and MRH90 helicopters, which he had the chance to get inside.

"While there could at times be some manpower issues around Reservists who need to take leave from their civilian employment at short notice, I think that from the benefits and skill sets these Reservists can bring to a company, it is a minor issue which a business hopefully can work around."

Craig Robinson - Sumitomo Drive Technologies National Engineering Manager


Craig Robinson - Blackhawk 5AVN  01 Dec 11

Sumitomo Drive Technologies is a subsidiary of Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd which in turn is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI), one of the largest manufacturer of machinery in Japan, and the global leader in transmission knowledge and innovation.

Craig Robinson, National Engineering Manager is responsible for managing national engineering and the project offices. He was recently involved as one of 22 employers in Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, during Exercise Precision Support 2011 in northern Queensland.

Craig was previously a Reservist himself, in 11th Field Battery, 23rd Field Regiment, so had a good understanding from his experiences of just what a Reservist can bring to a civilian employment environment.

The Exercise Boss Lift experience did however provide him with new insights into the Australian Defence Force's capability and he took away some first time experiences including a flight in a C-17 Globe Master and an opportunity to experience the Ralph Honner Battle Simulation Centre at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville.

"I am always a strong advocate for hiring Reservists in civilian jobs, because I know the high level of training they receive and understand the kinds of skill sets individuals develop in the defence force," said Craig.

"Reservists are exactly the kind of people that can offer excellent leadership, show initiative and confidence in any role that they do."

Geoffrey Luscombe - Richmond Club Chairman


The Richmond Club is a family entertainment and recreation centre in the Hawkesbury District in New South Wales. Having been on the Board of Directors for the past 14 years and Chairman of the Board the past three years, Geoffrey Luscombe understands the value and skills Reservists can bring to an organisation.

"I have retired from the New South Wales Police Force but during my time in the Police Force, coming from the Operational Safety Unit as a Senior Instructor, we often used RAAF Base Richmond and Holsworthy Army Barrack's facilities to conduct training. So I have a close association with the Defence Force," said Geoff.

"There are approximately 23,000 members of the Richmond Club and we are one of the areas largest employers. In the past we have employed Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Reservists and I would have no hesitation in employing them again."

Geoff is always impressed by the excellent work ethic, the people skills and enthusiasm Reservists bring to the working environment and understands the high level of training given to Defence Reservists having been through much of it himself.

Having recently spent some time with the RAAF during Exercise Precision Support with the Exercise Boss Lift Program, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, the friendliness, passion and genuineness of the personnel he met has further inspired him on his own quest to join the RAAF Reserves himself.

Chris Hirst - Kawasaki Newcastle Managing Director


Chris Hirst onboard MRH-Taipan 5AVN  01 Dec11.

Chris Hirst, Managing Director of Kawasaki Newcastle is a passionate individual on all things mechanical from motorbikes to aviation.  He has owned a motor cycle store for over 30 years, is a Senior Instructor for Recreational Aircraft of Australia (RAA), holds an unrestricted Private Pilots Licence and is on the Board of Directors with Royal Newcastle Aero Club for Flight Operations, training and Marketing.

From his many years in aviation he has formed strong bonds with many Royal Australian Air Force personnel and has always enjoyed hearing their stories or adventure.

He is hoping to provide a supporting role to the Defence Reserves Support Council soon and as a result recently attended Exercise Boss Lift program, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division.

"The experience gave me the chance to see some of these stories I have heard over the years, first hand. It was quite fascinating seeing the engineering side of things, as that is something that really interests me," said Chris.

"Teamwork is imperative to both civilian jobs and to the defence force and there was no shortage of it during our time with the Combat Support Group during Boss Lift."

Although Chris has flown in many aircraft, being transported to and from Airfield Williamson, part of the Shoalwater Bay training area was a new experience and a big highlight to his adventure.

"I am looking forward to getting back home and becoming an advocate for Defence Reservists because the support they provide to the permanent force is so important.  I had a good understanding of the way in which the RAAF operates but this trip has really emphasised just how valuable Reservists are."

Kerry Loughhead - City of Prospect

Kerry -Loughhead ---Ex -Boss -Lift -5AVN-Blackhawk --01Dec 11

Kerry Loughhead - Exercise Boss Lift  - 5AVN  Blackhawk  01 Dec 11

The City of Prospect in South Australia is home to more than 20,000 residents. 

Kerry Loughhead is the City of Prospect's Manager of Governance and Administration - a South Australian town which is home to over 20,000 residents. 

Not having much previous experience or contact with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Kerry was very excited about the opportunity to participate in Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division in northern Queensland. 

"I had a very limited knowledge of the Australian Defence Force in general, and of the Reserves in particular," she said. 

"I had no idea that Reservists actually deployed. But this experience has shown me first hand just how important a role Reservists play in supporting the full time capability of the defence force." 

"Since being here, my understanding of what Reservists do has increased dramatically. They are just so competent and passionate about what they do. I was completely impressed." 

The City of Prospect has an Employer of Choice policy in development and from that it is hoping to attract more Reservist employees. 

"Reservists are exactly the type of employees we want working for us.  Their skill sets are diverse, and they demonstrate exceptional team work, leadership and integrity.  Now, having this understanding of their role in the defence of our country, I would have no concerns in being able to work with Reservist employees to ensure they can take the leave they need to do the important role that they do."

Simon Kennedy - Smart Fabrication Managing Director

Simon -Kennedy ---5AVN-01Dec 11-(2)

Simon Kennedy - 5AVN 01 Dec 11 

Smart Fabrication is a South Australian based manufacturing company, which has always been a supportive employer of Reservists and has had many Army Reservists employed in the company since 1999.

Simon Kennedy, Managing Director of the company, has a close affiliation with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) having recently completed the South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program and as a preferred supplier to the ADF providing specialist steel fabrication products for defence assets such as the Air Warfare Destroyers.

Simon believes that Reservists are some of the most inspiring and passionate people he has met.

"There is a great culture among Defence personnel. The morale, their willingness to help out and talk about what they do is really impressive. I have had Reservists in my company before and I hope to employ more. They have a great work ethic and are just all round good members of a team," said Simon

"Interacting with a lot of Defence personnel has given me ample opportunity to hear their great stories. One of the things I most admire is their passion willingness to always get really involved."

Margaret Jenyns - Director of Rehabilitation and Compensation Claims

The Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) mission is to support those who serve or have served in defence of our nation and commemorate their service and sacrifice.

As the Director of Rehabilitation and Compensation Claims in Brisbane, Margaret Jenyns team has four Defence Reservists in it. When they are required to take leave from their civilian role to provide Reserve service, the DVA has access to Employer Support Payment Scheme (ESPS) Payments to help offset the gaps in her team.

"When our Reservists have to take leave, it does mean the rest of the team here do have to work a little smarter and harder, but the ESPS mean we receive funds to temporarily replace them if we need to do so," said Margaret. She has recently attended Exercise Boss Lift, an employer engagement activity coordinated by Defence's Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division.

"It was very inspiring to see the Reservists performing their defence roles, they are confident, positive and articulate individuals who demonstrate strong skills in teamwork and leadership. They are the kind of employee that any employer would be lucky to have."

Peter Sanders - Driving need to help

ADF_2012_CRESD_Employer _Support _Awards _0066

Director of Communication Deanna Nott and CRESD Deputy Head Brigadier Bill Sowry with Airport Transfer Solutions Managing Director Peter Sanders at the 2012 Employer Support Awards - Queensland 

Supporting the community is a focus for Gold Coast businessman Peter Sanders.

This is what drove him to become a supportive employer of Defence Reservists.

Mr Sanders, who is the Managing Director of Airport Transfer Solutions, learned about the Supportive Employer program through Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division's Director of Communication Deanna Nott.

"When Deanna told me about how she and the Division promote the benefits of Reserve service to the community and especially employers, I thought I needed to sign up," said Mr Sanders.

"I really believe in helping the community wherever I can, and doing this is a way I can make a small difference.

"Our company transfers more than 15,000 passengers each year to various airports around southern Queensland as well as to corporate functions and events.

"Whenever I have the opportunity, I tell my passengers about the good work that Australia's Reservists are doing here as well as overseas."

Mr Sanders said having the opportunity to mix with a wide range of employers at the 2012 Employer Support Awards further opened his eyes to work of Reservists.

"I was really impressed to hear that most of the soldiers in the Solomon Islands and East Timor at the moment are Reservists," said Mr Sanders after attending the awards function, hosted by the Defence Reserves Support Council at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.

"It was also good to learn that so many of them helped Queenslanders during the floods last year."

Click here to learn more about this supportive employer (link to www.airporttransfersolutions.com )



Last update: Tuesday, 3 November 2015