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July 19, 2012
AN AIR Force program which
aims to facilitate mentoring and
networking among women and
address women's issues in the ADF
is spreading its wings across the
The program is known as
WINGs -- Women's Integrated
The program, sponsored by the
Director General Personnel -- Air
Force, was established to address
the CDF-mandated strategy for the
recruitment and retention of women
in the ADF.
WINGs was trialled at RAAF
Base Williamtown last year and
is now being rolled out to all Air
Force bases across Australia.
WINGs is open to Air Force and
Air Force program public servants, of
all ranks and employment groups.
Two-hour sessions are held once
a month, scheduled around school
holidays and operational commit-
A theme or topic is chosen for
discussion at each session and guest
speakers are invited to address the
SQNDLR Anneka Deaton, the
WINGs coordinator at RAAF Base
Edinburgh, said the program had
only been running since May but
the response by the women on base
had been overwhelming.
"New women are coming to
each additional session as word
THE inaugural Air Force Women's
Development Forum in Canberra on
June 20 and 21 attracted 115 members
from all over Australia.
Organised by Air Force Workforce
Diversity and the first of a planned
series of annual forums, its theme
was "Women in Non-traditional
Employment Surviving and Thriving".
Its aim was to address some of the
opportunities, challenges and barriers
facing Air Force women who work
in areas where they comprise a small
Topics covered included how Air
Force is examining a range of strate-
gies to attract more women into non-
traditional roles, with a focus on air-
crew, technical trade roles and engi-
neering, and removing combat restric-
tions from airfield defence guard and
ground defence officer roles.
In his opening address, CAF
AIRMSHL Geoff Brown said women
had made a tremendous contribution
throughout Air Force history and now
comprised 18 per cent of the organisa-
"This forum is an important step
towards helping Air Force to better
u nderstand the unique challenges
experienced by women working in
non-traditional employment fields
such as engineering and fire fighting,"
"We need to 'future proof' Air
Force with targeted programs to
attract, recruit and retain the very best,
regardless of their gender. By doing
this and ensuring Air Force retains the
right people with the right skills, we
can deliver capability well into the
The event provided a platform for
women to meet, build networks, dis-
cuss their careers, hear from subject
matter experts and contribute to the
direction of future gender initiatives
for Air Force.
Program coordinator: SQNLDR
Jade Deveney, 0459 802 862,
Amberley: SQNLDR September
Clare, (07) 5361 3275,
Canberra: WGCDR Barbara
Courtney, (02) 6265 5479,
Darwin: WGCDR Desiree
Watson, (08) 8923 5934,
East Sale: SGT Amanda
Jackson, (03) 5146 6294,
Edinburgh: SQNLDR Anneka
Deaton, 0412 230 499, anneka.
Pearce: FLTLT Linda Figgins,
(08) 9571 5101, linda.figgins@
Richmond and Glenbrook:
SQNLDR Del Gaudry, 0447
995 487, del.gaudry@defence.
gov.au. SQNLDR Tania Hunter,
(02) 4726 1256, tania.hunter@
Tamworth: FLTLT Janine
McMullan, 0448 083 972,
Townsville: SQNLDR Tanya
Kennedy, (07) 4752 1701, tanya.
Judith McCann, (03) 9256 3089,
Williamtown: WGCDR Sue
Yates, (02) 4034 7825, susan.
Taking flight with WINGs
spreads about how much the ladies
are enjoying the program.
"It's still early days, so I expect
we'll continue to grow in numbers
as more and more people find out,"
The last session on Workplace
Flexibility and Parenting was
extremely popular and she hoped
to run a similar session for all
Edinburgh supervisors this year.
WGCDR Sue Yates, the
WINGs coordinator at RAAF Base
Williamtown, said that the feedback
from women who attended the ses-
sions spoke for itself.
"Participants, ranging from
aircraftwomen to group captains,
described WINGs' sessions as
'rewarding', 'relevant', 'inclusive'
and 'worth the investment in time',"
WGCDR Yates said.
For more information ...
Forum focus on women
Over the two days, the attendees
heard presentations from 12 leading
men and women in the service and
broader community, covering a range
of subjects from recruiting and reten-
tion to addressing the way ahead.
The attendees also broke into work-
ing groups to examine the question of
breaking recruiting and retention bar-
riers, while a question and answer ses-
sion with an Air Force senior leader-
ship panel provided valuable insights.
SQNLDR Llani Kennealy, of Air
Force Workforce Diversity, said feed-
back from the forum had been over-
"Some women said that the event
reignited their desire for a long-term
Air Force career, while others said it
was fantastic to meet and hear from
women who have faced similar issues
or challenges in their workplaces,"
SQNLDR Kennealy said.
Further information about gender diversity
initiatives in Air Force can be found at: http://
of the guests at the
n Canberra; left,
Photos: FSGT John Carroll
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