Across the country tomorrow, people will pause to reflect on the meaning of Anzac Day. It will be a very different day - as we live through COVID-19 – to remember and honour those who served and sacrificed for our country. Together, even while apart, we will pay our respects on one of most important national days.
At Aurizon, we are proud to have among our ranks many employees who have served in the Defence Force before transitioning to a civilian career with Aurizon.
Kate Bowden is an ex-veteran who joined Aurizon this year as the Manager Reliability Engineering, leading a team across our national footprint.
Kate joined the army straight out of high school and obtained her Electrical Engineering Degree from the Australian Defence Force Academy. Following the completion of her officer training at the Royal Military College in Duntroon, she joined the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps where the majority of her eight years in the military were in maintenance and logistics roles.
Her team at Aurizon works with the engineering team and depots to ensure better business outcomes by improving reliability and availability across the Rollingstock Fleet. This involves monitoring the fleet, identifying issues with both equipment and third-party repair as well as working with the business to optimise maintenance strategies and address reliability concerns.
Kate says there are many skills and attributes that are learned in the military that are applicable to our operations. She identifies the top three for her as being leadership skills, a focus on safety, and empowering people to get the job done.
Recognising the skills and experience veterans bring to our Company, last year Aurizon signed the Prime Minister’s Veteran’s Employment Commitment to demonstrate our ongoing support in employing veterans at Aurizon.
For current serving members considering a career in the rail industry Kate’s says that military experience is highly relevant to the rail industry. Experience in heavy equipment and transport and logistics is directly applicable. There are a multitude of jobs within the Rail industry which you could be suited for so her advice it to give it a go and reach out to people within the industry.
As we mark Anzac Day tomorrow, Kate shared what this important day means to her.
Kate Bowden, ex-Australian Army
“ANZAC Day is a day for the people of Australia to think about those people who have served their country, both in peace and war. It’s really encouraging to see the increased focus on ANZAC Day events over the years given the low attendance numbers when I was a kid. My kids love wearing their parents’ medals at school parades and learning about what ANZAC Day means to us.
However, I also find ANZAC Day quite difficult as I have many friends and a spouse suffering PTSD. This time of year, can bring up many negative feelings for some people. It’s important to be aware that some veterans may not be comfortable ‘celebrating’ Anzac Day and may need additional support at this time.
Even though this years’ Anzac Day will be very different to what we are traditionally used to, we can still honour and take part in this important national moment of respect and appreciation for service men and women, past and present. In the unusual times we are in, it is very fitting that that we remember the qualities evoked by the ANZAC spirit - endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, and mateship. I encourage you all to pause, reflect and say a simple thank you, whether it be at your work place, on your driveway or where ever you may be at his time.”