Defence Reserves Support Council Chair commitment to the community recognised
RAISING awareness of the benefits that Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserves bring to the workplace and encouraging open communication between Reservists and their civilian employers are the hallmarks of Stacey Whittaker’s leadership of the Central West Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC) NSW.
Stacey was elected as Chair of the Central West DRSC in November 2017, and while she had only attended one meeting prior to being appointed to the top job, she had some prior exposure to the DRSC through their employer engagement programs.
“I had been involved with the local central west committee since March 2016 when I was selected as a candidate for VIP Challenge in my role as President of the Bathurst Business Chamber,” Stacey said.
“On my return from the VIP Challenge I assisted the then Acting Chair Mr Norm Pattison and Warrant Officer Barry Parsons in gaining a foothold within the Bathurst region employer network. I was then selected to attend Boss Lift in January 2017 to Malaysia, travelling with a local employer from Skillset Education who had one of their teachers Captain Mark Whitfield over on a training exercise.
“Both Norm and Barry were very keen for me to come on board the Central West DRSC. As I was stepping down from my role on the Business Chamber, therefore freeing up some time, a succession plan was put in place for myself to take over from Norm later that year as he was retiring.”
Stacey says being involved in the DRSC provided a great opportunity to travel the district and highlight the positive impact Reservists can have in a civilian workplace.
“I really enjoy talking to not only employers, but Service groups and attending jobs and business expos and letting people know the benefits of employing Reservists and I enjoy catching up with local Reservists and offering support where needed,” She said.
“Over the years the Central West DRSC have facilitated several business ‘after hours’ at the local bases at Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, where attendees have given demonstrations on ‘what they do on their Tuesday nights at Army’”
Stacey’s widespread commitment to her community was recently recognised when she received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
She received the OAM for service to the community, including her involvement with the Bathurst Chamber of Commerce, where she was president from 2014-2017 and is also a former secretary.
She is also a board member for Bathurst Meals on Wheels, a former consortium member for headspace Bathurst and founding member of the Bathurst Women's Business Network.
“I think it is important to live your life to the fullest. As a business owner I have always wanted to be heavily involved in the district. I was completely shocked to receive the OAM, but I am honoured to be recognised.”
Last update: Friday, 8 March 2019