While donning a uniform for work each day can command a healthy respect from certain elements of society it can also come with its own set of challenges, particularly if you’re a woman! As part of International Women’s Day 2018, we celebrate six local women in uniform and how they’re kicking goals in their respective industries.
Left to right: SQN LDR Catriona Dowling, Chloe Stolzenhein, Emma Edmonds
SQN LDR Catriona Dowling
Occupation: Air Force Personnel Capability Officer
Tell us about your job? I am the Executive Officer of No 383SQN, as the second in charge of the Unit, my role is to coordinate all activities, personnel and capabilities to ensure my Commanding Officers intent is carried out. 383SQN is one of three Contingency Response Squadrons in Combat Support Group. The squadron provides light, lean, rapid, responsive and effective expeditionary airbase support in order to support the projection of Air Power. 383SQN draws upon an honourable history, reaching back to service in Vietnam in 1966 and I am very proud to be part of this unit.
Why did you choose this career? My Dad was in the Australian Regular Army. I grew up on Army Bases and posting around the country, attending many schools and meeting lots of new people. My Dad loved his time in the Army and there was always a strong sense of community that even as a child I recognised as unique to most occupations. I loved listening to his experiences in the Army. I knew I wanted to do something that served my country in some way and I was also certain I wanted more than just a job but to be part of a community and a lifestyle so it was a natural choice for me to join one of the Services. The Air Force appealed to me the most out of the three services as I was fascinated by aviation.
What do you love about your job? I love the diversity of employment the Air Force provides. In my last role I was in charge of Safety for Combat Support Group, managing a large safety network in an organisationally complex environment. I have been posted this year to a frontline operational unit with a very different focus and I thrive on the challenge of having to adapt and perform in new environments. I feel so fortunate that I work for an employer that has values similar to my own, encourages diversity and offers a safe and supportive work environment that has been flexible enough to accommodate further study and raising a family.
What is the most challenging part of your job? It can be challenging managing relationships and children, along with the sometimes demanding nature of our employment, especially when long periods of separation occur. I am currently on this posting without my spouse, he has had to remain in Brisbane due to his employment and we are expecting a baby in July, so it can be tricky to make sure you keep the right balance of family and professional priority. Fortunately the Air Force have a very strong support framework that makes it much easier to remain in Service while having a family and I have an awesome Unit that are my extended Air Force family here in Townsville so it makes the separation much easier.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career? In 23 years there have been so many memorable moments, I think it’s impossible to pick just one moment when every posting offers unique experiences. Deployments to East Timor, the UAE and Afghanistan are definite stand outs and an honour and privilege to serve, the opportunity to post to Malaysia and work with other nations was also a highlight. Being selected as the Executive Officer of 383SQN is my most recent memorable moment.
Occupation: Guest Services Agent at The Ville Resort-Casino
Tell us about your job? I am one of the first people that our guests interact with when they arrive and I look after all check-ins and departures and make sure the guests are looked after while at the property.
Why did you choose this career? I love interacting with people and the fast paced environment of the Hotel and Hospitality industry.
What do you love about your job? The human aspect – getting to know peoples stories! Everyone has a different reason for coming to The Ville, some on holiday, some travelling for work and a lot are actually locals just looking to get away for a weekend.
What is the most challenging part of your job? The hotel is quite busy and it’s getting busier as we start to open new outlets and unveil the redevelopment so it can be challenging around check in times when we get busy.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career? Joining the team at The Ville and being part of the amazing transformation that the property is going through.
Tell us about your job? Most people know working in a commercial kitchen is very stressful, it’s all about time management and multitasking. But it is also a very artistic career, people eat with their eyes so the food has to look good. Each item, however random it may look is placed with precision and planning, for taste and visual gratification.
Why did you choose this career? I have always been creative and have loved cooking since I was old enough to reach the bench (which was quite young for me being so tall) I have fond memories of experimenting with new flavour combinations and baking with my parents and grandparents. Cheffing is just an extension of that, with added organisational and time management skills.
What do you love about your job? The adrenaline of a busy service. When you have a full docket run and manage to get all meals sent out quickly, looking good and of course tasting amazing. Also the satisfaction of experimenting with two flavours that, when combined, create a whole new taste experience.
What is the most challenging part of your job? It can get quite repetitive, and it is exhausting being on your feet for 8–12 hours preparing food and running service then having to clean the kitchen to food safe standards.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career? Partnering with the owner of a small café in NSW and setting up a kitchen from scratch. Then successfully running it while writing seasonal menus and all the while creating new and exciting dishes.