After 30 years in the Army, WO1 Allison decided it was time for a new challenge. She handed in her paperwork, separated earlier this year, and soon after was accepted for a new position with the help of an advanced diploma – awarded through recognition of prior learning (RPL) by Churchill Education. In this case study Allison shares her experience of being awarded qualifications through RPL and what it is like for women in defence.
When Allison was looking at transitioning, her peers recommended she get in touch with Churchill to convert her 30 year career of service into nationally recognised qualifications, which demonstrate the value of defence experience to civilian employers.
Allison says, “I sent all my details to John, who very quickly responded – which impressed me.”
Based on Allison’s excellent experience, John (Churchill Skills Recognition Advisor) was able to offer her a number of diplomas, including an advanced diploma.
Of receiving the preliminary assessment results, Allison says, “I was pretty excited! I left school in grade 10, and thought I was pretty dumb. So all of a sudden I’ve got these diplomas!”
Well, 30 years isn’t exactly all of a sudden! And we have a saying at Churchill – Graduates of Real Life.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking we’re not smart and we’re not qualified, simply because we didn’t take the traditional route to higher education… But can there be a better classroom than life? We don’t think so.
Listen to Allison’s Interview
Read Interview Transcript
Women in Defence
With some interesting ADF campaigns to recruit women appearing in the media, we were curious to find out about Allison’s personal experience as a woman in the military.
Allison believes in earning respect as you progress through a career, and says that she always felt respect from those above her in the service.
“I’ve had good bosses, I do my job, I’ve applied myself, and got recognised for it. Being a soldier, sailor or airman – it doesn’t matter who you are. If you can perform and do your job, then it shouldn’t matter who you are.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Quotas are a topic that attracts debate on both sides of the argument.
Allison focuses on the importance of hard work along the way as being a source of pride, rather than wanting to feel a role has been achieved because of a policy: “Some of us women who have been in for a long time, have worked hard to get where we’re at now …”
She goes on to say:
“Well, you know what, if you put the uniform on, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pink, purple, white, blue; whether you’re a man or a woman – we are all one defence.”
Something in that for all of us! Merit should always be based on performance and ability.
And when it comes to RPL for defence, what does Allison have to say about her experience with Churchill?
“I was really impressed with how quick and professional Churchill was. They are there to help, they don’t beat around the bush, and they don’t leave you hanging. You provide them the basic information that they require and they’ll respond to you immediately.”
Thank you for talking to us Allison and sharing your views and experience. And good luck in your new career. It brings us so much happiness to help people get the recognition they deserve through RPL – regardless of age, race or gender.
Credit where credit’s due!
More Case Studies
Ken - Transitioned from the Military into a Civilian Career
Kenneth Carter recently shared his story about how gaining RPL qualifications was central to his smooth transition from Defence to private sector WHS employment.
You can read his story here.
Are You Thinking of Transitioning?
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‘The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made When Transitioning out of Defence‘