When you grow up in Newman, Western Australia, you'd expect because of its remoteness, that you'd be a seasoned airline traveller, but for Warrant Officer George Sutton it wasn't so.

He took his first flight to attend a job interview.

Since then, Warrant Officer Sutton, whose first flight took him to an interview with the ADF, has built a career in the Defence aviation industry with the Royal Australian Air Force, where he works at RAAF Base Williamtown, in NSW.

Warrant Officer Sutton's career has been varied, including managing the AP-3C Orion engine fleet and the introduction of the Hawk 127 Lead-in fighter, but he now works a critical role looking after people as a member support coordinator at Williamtown. 

"The member support role has been one of the most challenging, emotional, full-on roles I have experienced," Warrant Officer Sutton said. 

"Working as client support for people with mental health issues, terminal illness or transitioning out of Defence into the next phase of their life, though while challenging, can also be very rewarding.

"Having the right compassion and empathy is vital and it is a unique challenge to manage yourself. 

"You need to suspend your judgement to anyone’s situation, stick to the facts and help as best you can with the transition from service life to civilian life."

Warrant Officer Sutton is dedicated to navigating Defence transitions and ensures that every member is afforded every opportunity to transition successfully with minimal stress.

The member support coordinator is still a relatively new role for the ADF and is continually evolving. Warrant Officer Sutton has been instrumental in this evolution by creating and improving many of the processes and procedures. 

In his spare time, Warrant Officer Sutton writes and plays sport.

"I love hockey and cricket and my other passion is poetry," he said.

"I write about emotions and share it on Facebook because I like to connect with people through the written word."


Planning is underway for the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force in March 2021. For further information, visit airforce.gov.au/100.