High school students Alannah Penfold (left) and Carly Turner, of Gympie, mix up a dessert during army adventure camp activities at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane.
High school students Alannah Penfold (left) and Carly Turner, of Gympie, mix up a dessert during army adventure camp activities at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane.

Gympie teens get a taste of life in the army

GYMPIE teens Carly Turner, Emily Rowan, Emily Miller and Keely McKean have a renewed sense of determination after tackling the Australian Army Adventure Camp last week.

The camp sought to inspire a new generation considering an army career and was held at the Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.

A total of 36 young women between the ages of 16-18 participated and the four Gympie girls, all St Patrick's College students, experienced a range of army trades, including logistics, engineering, intelligence, artillery, medical, military policing, aviation, catering and communications.

The camp drew the four girls out of their comfort zones and at one point, Keely, 16, got behind the wheel of a bulldozer.

"It was so much fun," Keely said.

"I really enjoyed driving the bulldozer during the engineering activity."

The camp was also an opportunity to encourage more young girls to consider a role in the Australian Army.

It is hoped by mid 2014 the Australian Army's female workforce will rise from 11.2% to 12%.

"Gender does not limit your ability to serve the nation," Major-General Simone Wilkie said.

"If you're good enough and fit enough, you can do any job, officer or solider."

Women looking to join the army have access to a pre-enlistment training fitness program and a 12-month initial minimum period of service for selected trades.

Some women will be able to join under the Recruit to Area Scheme, providing certainty of the location they will be posted to after completing their training.

The opportunities for women in the army increase from January, 2016, when all gender restrictions are removed from combat roles.

URBAN ASSAULT: Australian Army platoon commander Lieutenant Chris Freeman, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, talks tactics to be used during an urban assault with the high school students.
URBAN ASSAULT: Australian Army platoon commander Lieutenant Chris Freeman, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, talks tactics to be used during an urban assault with the high school students. Contributed