RAAF Amberley welcomes first female boss
SHE had only been away from RAAF Base Amberley for three years but Air Commodore Veronica Tyler could barely recognise the place upon being posted there for the fourth time.
The raft of new infrastructure that had gone up in her short time away was a sign of the task at hand as she toured the base in preparation for her most important role in her 30 year career in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Air Cdre Tyler was recently appointed the first female Senior Australian Defence Force Officer of Amberley and became the Commander of the Australia-wide Combat Support Group.
As the most senior ADF officer, she has oversight of the entire base and on a day-to-day basis is responsible for the governance and general well-being of the largest air force facility in the country.
Operational support for the airbase also falls under her also in her position with the Combat Support Group.
There are about 8000 people on the base including army, air force and navy personnel and 2000 civilian contractors.
"The air force has changed with all of the new aircraft types we've got coming on with the fifth generation fleet," she said.
"In terms of combat support, taking it forward to be able to enable us to support those fleets into the future is really exciting.
"That for me this is brilliant timing. So I can come in and look at how we can future proof combat support to provide that best support to the capability for aircraft going forward. There's some really cool kit (coming in)."
In breaking new ground and with International Women's Day on the mind, Air Cdre hoped her lofty position would inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.
"If I can inspire only one young woman that 'I can do that' then I see it as brilliant," she smiled.
"I have had some fantastic female mentors through my career and the opportunities for women have expanded significantly since I joined.
"15 years ago we were sitting at female participation in the ADF around 11 or 12 per cent. The air force is probably just over 20 per cent now."