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Army December 8, 2011
By Cfn Max Bree
NEW ways to recruit women
into the ADF could be on the
way thanks to research by Maj
Jenelle Lawson from Defence
Force Recruiting (DFR).
Maj Lawson has been award-
ed the 2012 CDF Fellowship
to support her study into the
recruitment of women in the
ADF and starts the year-long
project in January.
In her thesis, Achieving
the Recruitment of Women
Strategy: How to recruit the
ideal ADF Servicewoman, Maj
Lawson will endeavour to find
out what gets women thinking
about a career in Defence and
where to find these women in
the labour market.
The study will use focus
groups, surveys and interviews
to determine if there is a certain
type of person who is the "right"
servicewoman and if conditions
in Defence suit the target audi-
Maj Lawson said a young
woman's "influencer" group
of friends, parents and teachers
could have a huge affect on her
considering an ADF career.
"Girls tend to be quite influ-
enced by this group," she said.
"The influencer group can have
a bigger sway over girls than
"I am keen to find out if
girls actually then act on what
they are told by their influenc-
er group and whether this also
applies to boys."
During Maj Lawson's work
with developing initiatives for
ADF trade recruiting, she saw
the value in making the "influ-
encer group" familiar with the
jobs Defence offered.
"If you can get a teacher on
your side, there are hundreds of
students that teacher has contact
with," she said.
During five years at DFR,
Maj Lawson has seen differ-
ences between what men and
women expect from a career in
"Young women are a bit
more astute, they think a bit dif-
ferently" she said.
"They ask 'am I going to
have to move away from home?'
and 'will I see my family?'.
"They ask about sharing a
room or a bathroom. But young
men don't care as much about
these things. I don't think these
are decision breakers for men as
much as for women."
However, Maj Lawson
acknowledged that some ADF
jobs might not appeal to particu-
lar women and there might not
be much more the ADF could do
to attract them.
"If that's the case, we have to
focus on getting the best women
we can and ensure we provide
the best employment offer for
them," she said.
The decision to lift the gender
restrictions on remaining roles in
the near future may not have a
big influence on young women
joining the military in years to
come, according to Maj Lawson.
"I don't think it affects
today's 15-year-old girls and
our recruits of the future," she
said. "I think it affects current
members, retired service person-
nel and from a recruiting per-
spective, the parents of our target
"The parents are having a
bigger social comment than
"If you told a young woman
enlisting now '10 years ago you
couldn't do this', they'd say, `oh
really, but why?'."
The CDF Fellowship is
awarded each year to an ADF
member who demonstrates the
ability to research and produce a
paper at an advanced level in a
field relevant to Defence's needs.
Maj Lawson was part of
ADFA's first female intake in
1986 and has three daughters
aged 9, 10 and 12.
Her thesis will be completed
by the end of next year.
More information on the CDF
Fellowship is available on the DRN at
Fellowship's recruiting focus
Top-level backing: CDF Gen David Hurley awards Maj Jenelle Lawson this year's CDF
Fellowship to support her research into recruiting women into military service.
Photo by Lauren Black
A DOCUMENTARY has been
released exploring the experiences of
Australian soldiers and their families
in the lead up to an operational deploy-
Long Tan to Afghanistan followed
members of D Coy, 6RAR, and their
families ahead of their deployment to
Afghanistan last year. It makes com-
parisons between the modern operation
and the battalion's famous battle of the
It includes interviews with veterans,
current soldiers and their families.
Defence Community Organisation
(DCO) Director General Michael Callan
said the documentary examined the
investment of partners, family and friends.
"It also looks at how DCO prepares
partners and families for an operational
and how it sup-
ports the fami-
lies when their
loved ones are
away," he said.
mentary is a
of the families
the men and
women who serve Australia's national
The documentary has been released on DVD by
Big Sky Publishing and can be ordered online at
Seeing deployment from
the family's perspective
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