Victoria Cross for Australia recipient and Army Reservist, Corporal Dan Keighran VC, presented the keynote address at Queensland’s annual Defence Reserves Employer Support Awards in Brisbane on Tuesday night.
In an evening that recognised employer support for Reservists, some of Queensland’s most prominent business leaders joined with military personnel to hear Corporal Keighran speak about his experiences as an Army member, a Reservist and a civilian employee.
Corporal Keighran joined the Australian Army in 2000 and transferred to the Active Reserve in 2011, at the same time beginning a civilian career in the mining industry in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. In November 2012, he became Australia’s 99th recipient of the Victoria Cross.
“For most of the year I am committed to my civilian career, but then there are times when I can still serve my country as a Reservist,” Corporal Keighran said.
“This is something which is important to me and I am lucky to have always had the full support of my workplace.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney said employer and community support for Australian Defence Force Reservists, like Corporal Keighran, is appreciated.
“Most Reservists work hard to balance their civilian and military careers and genuinely rely on their employers for support and understanding, " he said.
“I think the Australian community appreciates knowing that there are employers out there who do support their staff in going above and beyond and choosing to become Reservists or other volunteers in the local community. These awards recognise the contribution of those supportive employers.”
The Employer Support Awards provides an opportunity for Reservist employers to network and discuss their positive experiences of having Reservists on their staff.
It is also a chance for employers to find out more about the services Defence Reserves Support has to offer them and to learn about the many roles that Reservists play in the ADF.
“Coming from an Army background has taught me to lead or be led, to make decisions in high pressure and unpredictable situations, to focus when completing tasks with short timeframes and to use initiative to tackle any problem,” Corporal Keighran said.
“Employers certainly shouldn’t fear military skills – all of our training allows us to deal with the same situations as the civilian world plus we live with Defence values including courage, initiative and teamwork.”
Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council - Queensland Margaret Goody said the winners had been nominated by their Reservist employees, making the awards even more meaningful.
For more information about becoming a Supportive Employer visit:
For more information about CPL Keighran visit:
LIST OF AWARD WINNERS:
Optimus 1 Insurance Brokers (Small Business)
Loveday Electrical Pty Ltd (Medium Business)
Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd (Large Business)
The Fair Work Ombudsman (Government)
Senator Feeney’s Office: Jeffrey von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999