Shepparton-raised Army soldier Private Dustin Anderson joined the ADF with creative skills he didn’t think he would use in his military career. 

In high school, Private Anderson did an apprenticeship with an animation company where he developed his love of media and communications.

While taking photos at his unit for fun, he caught the attention of Defence’s 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit.

“I can’t believe I am lucky enough to work in media in Army,” Private Anderson said.

“I always thought I would have to choose between the two.

“To be recognised for those images and be selected for the ADF Imagery Specialist Course was a dream come true.”

Private Anderson is on Operation COVID-19 Assist, photographing the ADF support provided to Goulburn Valley Health, including COVID-19 testing and education. 

He said it felt strange to be in his home town and not be able to see his family.

“I wouldn’t want to put them and others at risk during the pandemic,” Private Anderson said.

“It’s nice to see my home town though.” 

Private Anderson said he loved surprising his family. 

“I love surprising my mum – I would never tell her when I was coming home,” Private Anderson said

“I think she almost punched me the first time I came home.

“I showed up on Christmas eve with no warning – she was so surprised that she burst into tears.”