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Hear from employees who are ex-veterans

1. Andrew Ross

Andrew Ross

Acting Director
Strategic Policy Branch
Policy and Performance
Queensland Police Service

‘I was fortunate to have a rewarding 12 year career in the Australian Army where I served in the Military Police and non-corps functions, in all mainland states, and a 12-month secondment with the US Army,’ says Andrew.

‘While the formal training and qualifications I acquired during my time in the Army helped in securing a position in the Queensland public sector, I did not fully appreciate how those informal skills around problem solving, innovation, dedication and determination would help progress my career.

‘Since joining the Queensland Police Service in 1998, I have served as a police officer and worked indifferent areas of policing, such as general duties, disaster management, counter-terrorism, security planning for major international events, and on secondment to the United Nations Civilian Police (East Timor).

‘My capabilities and experiences from the Army provided me with a solid foundation to enter the QPS.

‘I’m now the Director of the Strategic Policy Branch, helping to deliver public safety outcomes for Queensland.

‘I would encourage veterans to pursue a career in the Queensland public sector and would be happy to offer guidance to those who do to support their transition.’

2. Bernard Toohey

Bernard Toohey

Manager
Digital, Information and Records Management
Department of Transport and Main Roads

‘In the 1980s, I served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 9 years in telecommunications with most of my time spent in an operational environment with the Air Transportable Telecommunications Unit,Richmond,’ says Bernard.

‘It was an exciting and busy time of rebuilding both capability and capacity. I found the clarity of purpose and the teamwork were second to none. The training was outstanding and there was a large scope for being innovative, suggesting improvements and being allowed to try new ideas out in a controlled space.

‘After leaving the RAAF, I entered the private industry and went back to university. I had numerous jobs during this time, but when I sat down and had a good hard think about what I wanted, it was the chance to do high quality work—not bounce from project to project—and to develop ideas and see them through. I wanted to feel secure in my role. I wanted to feel like I was valued and worked for an organisation that was focused on the future and not things like share prices.

‘I joined the former Main Roads Department in 2006. I found an organisation that was task-oriented, high paced and focused on high quality outcomes. It has not always been smooth sailing, but I have enjoyed working for the department and have wondered many times why I did not join in 1989 when I first moved to Queensland.

‘The Queensland public sector has its challenges in terms of how things operate and how each department is unique in the services they deliver, but it's just a case of taking the time to find out the way things work, develop a network of contacts across your department and the wider sector.

‘It is rewarding to feel what we do is of a benefit to our families, friends and the people of Queensland.’

3. Jason L. Lawler

Jason Lawler

Inspector, Area Commander,
Kemp Place Command
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

‘After serving in the Australian Defence Force for almost 8 years, I re-trained and transitioned to a new career as a Firefighter with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services,’ says Jason.

‘I found a great deal of my capabilities, training and experiences from the ADF were transferable.

‘With QFES I progressed through the ranks, working in senior officer roles within 9 years. I'm now the Inspector, Area Commander of Kemp Place Command responsible for Cannon Hill, Annerley and Kemp Place fire stations with 72 operational crews in Brisbane region.

‘I'm still involved with the ADF 23 years later, in fact QFES supports me with leave to serve my country in places like Iraq and East Timor on operations.

‘In my current role as Inspector, I take a great deal of personal pride in mentoring and guiding other veterans we recruit into our organisation.’

4. Karen Monk

Karen Monk

Principal Privacy Officer,
Right to Information and Privacy Unit
Legal Division
Queensland Police Service

‘I served 20 years in the Australian Army, reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2,’ says Karen.

‘I started as an Operator Keyboard and Cipher in communications before I moved to IT to provide help desk, network systems and infrastructure support.

‘When I left the Army I took a short-term contract with Queensland Treasury on their IT service desk, but quickly realised I preferred the sense of belonging, structure and security of a government role. I successfully applied for a permanent position in QT and progressed to an executive officer role.

‘I've also held numerous roles in the Public Safety Business Agency and Queensland Police Service.

‘I'm fortunate the skills I learnt in the Army—through my military skills, trade and tertiary training—made the transition to civilian IT roles relatively smooth.

‘They also helped me to adjust to, and learn, various roles as I moved away from IT into more senior roles. This included my current role with QPS as I was able to adapt to the rank and command structure of a law enforcement agency.

‘I've got a great deal of satisfaction in working in a frontline agency that contributes to the safety and security of the Queensland community.’

5. Nick Perriman

Nick Perriman

Constable
Brisbane City Tactical Crime Squad
Queensland Police Service

‘I joined the Australian Defence Force in January 2002,’ says Nick.

‘After graduating from the ADF Academy with a Bachelor of Arts, I attended the Royal Military College (Duntroon) graduating in 2006 as an officer in the Royal Australian Infantry.

‘I served for 6 years in Darwin, deploying on 3 occasions in a combat command role to Iraq, East Timor and Afghanistan.

‘I was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in the 2012 Queens Birthday Honours for leadership and courage under fire in Afghanistan.

‘In 2012, I was posted to Brisbane and served 2 years as a Staff Officer at the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters prior to transitioning to the Army Reserves.

‘I decided to apply for the Queensland Police Service in 2013 and after graduating from the Police Academy I was posted to the Brisbane City Station. I'm now a Constable of Police with the Brisbane City Tactical Crime Squad.

‘I've continued to advance my education, further completing a Master of Arts (Strategy and Security) and a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing).

‘I found the transition from the ADF to the QPS to be relatively smooth. The familiarity of a rank structure, being a government employee, and similar remuneration and benefits has certainly assisted with this.

‘It has also been satisfying to see the QPS recognise my previous service and experience which has allowed me to be appointed to a specialist role that suits my skill set.’

6. Sujata Saha

Sujata Saha

Legal Officer
Queensland South Native Title Services

‘My career journey started in Tasmania where I studied law and business—including a 6-month overseas exchange to the University of Bologna in Italy—while completing training as a General Service Officer in the Army Reserves,’ says Sujata.

‘After graduating from the Royal Military College, I became a Transport Troop Commander where I worked with soldiers to manage complex logistical operations and continuous training.

‘My education coupled with my military training and experiences gave me the opportunity to build a civilian career with SunWater, working with contracts for major water infrastructure projects.

‘SunWater supported me with 6 months special leave to further my military commitments where I was deployed to lead and command both army and navy personnel on board Australian Navy Warships.

‘When I returned to SunWater, I resumed my prior position and was asked to present my experiences with colleagues through a ‘lunch and learn’ session. I also nominated SunWater as a supportive employer and they were awarded winner of the Large Business Employer Support Award by Defence Reserves Support.

‘I now work for the Queensland South Native Title Services as a not-for-profit lawyer representing Indigenous groups.

‘I believe my military background has brought a level of different experience to my civilian employment.

'I've certainly developed my ability to communicate in the workplace, increase my emotional intelligence, and make efficient decisions and good life choices.’

7. Tom Kelsey

Tom Kelsey

A/Clinical Support Officer
Queensland Ambulance Service

‘I joined the Australian Army in 2005 as a Reserve Infantry Soldier,’ says Tom.

‘After a peacekeeping deployment to the Solomon Islands, I transferred to the Army full-time where I then transferred to the Armoured Corps.

‘I was then posted to 2/14 Light Horse Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry, as an ASLAV crewman—and a Combat First Aider—and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘I used my skills to treat the locals and our wounded soldiers, and found I had a passion for the medical world.

‘While still on deployment, I applied to the Queensland Ambulance Service and began my training in 2011.

‘Since joining QAS, I've been stationed all around the state, have performed in multiple higher duties roles, and currently acting as a Clinical Support Officer in the Education Department.

‘The skills and attributes I gained from my military career has allowed me to build a new career with QAS.

'I've got a great sense of purpose and belonging, and most importantly a reason to get up in the morning.’