Sub Lieutenant Alison Smith has packed a lot into her three years at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

She has been on a language exchange to Indonesia, been the president of a sporting club, participated in flying activities and she graduated from ADFA on December 6 alongside 300 Navy, Army and Air Force classmates.

Born in South Africa, Sub Lieutenant Smith moved with her family to Australia as a child, eventually settling in Redcliffe, Queensland. 

After finishing her high schooling at Mueller College in 2016, Sub Lieutenant Smith joined the Navy in early 2017. After initial training, she commenced at ADFA in Canberra in 2018 while also studying a Bachelor of Arts. 

Sub Lieutenant Smith has been active in extra-curricular activities, including being this year’s president of the ADFA Rowing Club, playing in the hockey team and participating in the academy's aviation group.

“Being president of the rowing club has taught me a number of important lessons about leadership, management and how to deal with unexpected problems, like a global pandemic,” Sub Lieutenant Smith said.

“Dealing with COVID-19 was a lesson for all of us as ADFA. It was a steep learning curve, but we have come safely out the other side.” 

Sub Lieutenant Smith said she planned to return to university to complete an honours year studying Indonesian.

“During my study of the Indonesian language I was given the opportunity to spend three months studying Indonesian in Jakarta along with two other trainees, which was an awesome experience and learning opportunity,” she said. 

She said she was looking forward to returning home to Redcliffe to spend Christmas with family and friends, before her studies next year. 

Sub Lieutenant Smith hopes to become a Navy pilot, flying utility or anti-submarine warfare helicopters.