Amanda's career still flying high in the Air Force
JOINING the Air Force does not mean becoming a pilot - take Squadron Leader Amanda Gosling's word for it.
"If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if I was a pilot I would be a millionaire," she said.
"I think the biggest misconception is that everyone in the Air Force is a pilot, when in fact there are over 60 different jobs in the Air Force and only one is a pilot."
A 12-year veteran of the Air Force, Amanda is an aerospace engineer - aeronautical, as well as having recently taken on the role of specialist recruitment officer for women.
"I am responsible for spreading the word that there are amazing opportunities for women in the Air Force and to open up their minds to the possibility of pursuing a career in a job that they may not have ever heard of, let alone ever considered," she said.
Amanda said an Air Force career generally was not dependent on prior experience or training, and came with benefits and opportunities not available in civilian careers.
"I was initially attracted to the Air Force for the opportunities; to have my degree and leadership training paid for followed by a guaranteed job where I would be able to work with state of the art technology," she said.
"The Air Force selects people based on their personal values and potential and then trains them to perform a particular job. You don't need previous experience or training for almost all of the 60 jobs available.
"There are many benefits from working in the Air Force, importantly Air Force is an equal opportunity employer with merit-based promotions, excellent remuneration, free health care, housing assistance, education assistance and access to flexible working arrangements."
Amanda said one of the highlights of her career so far was being deployed to the Middle East area of operations on Operation SLIPPER.
"I was the maintenance officer in charge of three C-130 Hercules aircraft and 30 maintenance personnel," she said.
"We operated 24/7 for four months in an isolated and extreme environment. It was a huge challenge. As a manager and a leader I was able to keep the team working together, focussed on the mission and have some fun along the way."