Seated: Joshua Hicks (Family Based Care North West), left, Vanessa Cahoon (City Mission Launceston), Christine Hepburn, Chair of DRSC Northern Committee (The Defining Edge) and Drew Burns (Cinco Passiones) Standing: Lieutenant Commander Stephen Hurd (Royal Australian Naval Reserve), left, John Wylie (Pitt & Sherry), Mark Hassell (Scotch Oakburn College), Lieutenant Chris Jordan (RANR).

The Australian Maritime College has played a key role in giving business leaders a greater understanding of the benefits that can flow from employing Navy Reservists.

AMC played host to the Defence Reserve Support Council’s Employer Challenge Day, where Tasmanian business people gathered for a fun and challenging experience, which focussed on developing personal and survival skills within the Australian Defence Force environment.

Utilising the world-class facilities at the AMC Survival Centre, the participants were able to train like a Navy Reservist first-hand, gaining a better understanding of the role of a Reservist, their training and the benefits they can bring to an organisation.

Over four hours, the trainees learnt marine survival techniques and military communication skills and participated in a ship abandonment and decision making exercises.

The group also activated an inflatable raft, practiced surviving the elements and on completion, were rescued by simulated aircraft and winched to safety.

Understanding what’s involved for an organisation when it comes to employing staff who are members of the Defence Force Reserves might appear difficult, but gaining that insight is facilitated by the Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC).  The mission of the DRSC is to establish and maintain a flexible and supportive partnership between Defence and the community, industry and employers to sustain and enhance the availability of the Reserve component of the Australian Defence Force.

Like many other employers around the country, the University of Tasmania, and AMC’s commercial arm AMC Search, are registered as supportive employers of Defence Force Reservists.  In a gesture of corporate good will they have pledged their support for the important role that Reserve Forces play in the defence of Australia’s national interests.  The University has policies in place that define the processes and considerations involved in releasing staff members from their usual role in order to render periods of Reserve service.

The University also has a policy to support students who need to take Defence Reserve leave, or need a level of flexibility to perform Reserve service.