Beers, burgers and a brewery – that is the world that Four Hearts Pumpyard Bar and Brewery owner, Tracey Long, is familiar with but the Ipswich businesswoman got to experience a day in the life of a reservist as part of the Reserve Employer Challenge Day, held at RAAF Base Amberley recently.
The Defence Reserves Support Council sponsors employer engagement activities such as the Challenge Day aim to educate employers of reservists, giving them a better understanding of what their employee reservists experience in their military life and how those skills may be transferred to their civilian workplace.
The day involved a weapon display, watching a military working dog take down an ‘attacker’ and a tour of the new fire section facilities on the flight line. But the main highlight according to Ms Long however, was being taken onboard a C-17 Globemaster, getting to go into the cockpit and speaking to pilots that fly the global airlifter.
For her part, Tracey Long participated in the day’s activities to gain a better understanding about her employees who were either reservists, ex-Service personnel or those belonging to a Defence family.
The small business owner said the experience at the Air Base gave her an appreciation of the work of Air Force and Army reservists.
“We got to learn about some of the work they do, how they fit in to the Defence Force and how valuable they really are,” she said.
“I left with an increased appreciation for how valuable reservists are in the Defence Force.
“I always thought they helped out when needed, but they are an integral part in the daily activities of the Defence Force but they are employed every day.”
Tracey recommends other business owners consider either employing a reservist, employing an ex-Defence Force person, or enabling an employee to become a reservist.
“Definitely consider doing it,” she said.
“There are many employer benefits, like extra funding if they want to study a course that aligns with your business.
“Reservists and ex-Defence personnel have excellent work ethic and dilligence, they’re also open to change and different situations.”
The Royal Australian Air Force actively employs about 4,000 Air Force Reservists in a wide range of roles and is an essential part of the Air Force’s workforce model.
Business owners wanting to connect as potential reservist employees can visit www.defencereservessupport.gov.au.