Springfield woman Samantha Freebairn’s career is soaring as she proves to women all over Australia that anything is possible.
She joined the Defence Force at 17 and continues to serve as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron leader and C17 Globemaster pilot.
“It was exciting to join the Air Force after leaving school. I moved to Canberra to study at the Australian Defence Force Academy before commencing my pilot training.” Samantha said.
“After graduating from pilot training I was posted to fly the C130H Hercules aircraft and flew some truly incredible missions that were significant in my life and definitely shaped me.”
Samantha says working in the Defence Force can be very emotional but she chose to share it with friends to help process certain experiences.
Samantha has experienced criticism regarding her role as a woman in the military and supports Queensland RSL’s decision to focus on women veterans this year.
“The focus on female veterans is a really important one. Certainly for me the image I see when I hear the term ‘veteran’ is very different now to the one I grew up with, yet no less significant.”
“Women play a very important role in families and society, so this should be reflected within our Australian Defence Force.”
“The progress that has been made with the removal of gender restrictions from all jobs and roles in the ADF reflects the importance of this contribution.”
She says her local RSL have provided her family with a connection when she wasn’t able to herself.
“I chose to serve, but I am conscious that my family hasn’t necessarily made that choice, yet they serve because I do.”
“I hope everyone buys a poppy to support the RSL knowing that they are directly supporting veterans young and old, our families and our children.”
To donate to this year’s Poppy Appeal, visit their website: http://www.anzacappeal.com.au/.