It was her father’s 26-year Air Force career that influenced Corporal Amanda Palmer to join the RAAF and she is now a Personnel Capability Specialist based out of RAAF Base Williamtown.

Little did Corporal Palmer know at the time that her decision to join would go on to influence her mother, Corporal Linda Kay, to make the same commitment.  

“I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school but when Dad told me the military might offer some unique opportunities, I thought it was worth looking into,” Corporal Palmer said.

“When Mum decided to join not long after it was a bit of a surprise but it has been great, we are in the same mustering so we often bounce ideas off each other.” 

Corporal Palmer said having a husband in the Air Force and two young boys meant sometimes life was a bit of a balancing act.

“We are often juggling postings, exercises and deployments as well as family commitments,” she said.

“Having Mum close by for the last few postings has really made it possible, she plays a big part in making our lives run smoothly.”

Corporal Kay’s decision to join the RAAF was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, as she had previously applied in 1983.

“I had been accepted as a steward but unfortunately it was around the same time that I met my husband and long-distance relationships were not really a thing in the ’80s”, Corporal Kay said.

“Once my youngest child turned 15, I thought, 'I need to start thinking about what comes next for me'.

“Seeing how much my husband and daughter had enjoyed their life in the military, joining was an easy decision to make.”

Corporal Kay said after joining she realised that a Mum’s job was never really done.

“Coming through basic training in my 40s meant I became an unofficial ‘course mum’.

“Even though I had finished raising my own three kids I felt like I had gained another 20 to look out for during course,” she said.

Both Corporal Palmer and Corporal Kay agree that taking the big step to join the RAAF had been a positive experience.

“Being in the Air Force is a great career choice. Not only do you meet amazing people on a daily basis but you also have the flexibility to have a career and raise a family,” Corporal Palmer said.