Able Seaman Brianna Briscoe joined Navy four years ago, changing course from an otherwise desperate future.
The Indigenous aircraft technician’s story starts in rural communities around Laramba, north-west of Alice Springs.
From a young age, the Anmatyerr woman was exposed to substance abuse and violence.
Aged 19, battered and in an abusive relationship, she started questioning her life choices.
“I look back now and think ‘holy crap, what were you thinking’ and I feel really grateful I had people pushing me to do better,” she said.
Among them was her mum.
Able Seaman Briscoe reluctantly attended a recruitment session after her mum nudged her towards joining the ADF.
Her reluctance turned to quiet aspiration when her aptitude test revealed becoming an aircraft technician was a career option.
“I always thought I was too dumb and I just felt I wasn’t capable, especially with all the things I was going through at the time,” Able Seaman Briscoe said.
“Mum encouraged me to just try it and I was excited to give it a go.
“It was like a switch flipped in my head and I had a proper motivation to stop drinking, leave my relationship and make things better.”
Able Seaman Briscoe applied herself to recruit school and trade training.
She is now posted to No. 808 Squadron – a journey she credits to the “two strong women” in her life, her mum and her sister.
Able Seaman Briscoe said she hoped to inspire other Indigenous women to follow in her footsteps.
“I haven’t seen many Indigenous women in the field I’m in,” she said.
“I’d like to be an advocate for them and empower them to get out there and tell their story without shame.
“My mum and sister pushed me to strive for greatness and get out of my comfort zone.
“I’m glad they did.
“I’d like to foster other women’s confidence so they can step out of their shell, too.”