For Corporal Petrus Badenhorst, working in the aviation industry on a variety of ground equipment is the realisation of a desire to become a tradesperson following his schooling at Proserpine in Queensland.

South African-born Corporal Badenhorst brings an important element of diversity to the workplace.

It is well known that workplace diversity adds value to any organisation and it is no different in the ADF where Corporal Badenhorst works as a ground support equipment technician with No. 27 Squadron at RAAF Base Townsville.

"My job involves maintaining and managing a variety of ground equipment to support air power," Corporal Badenhorst said.

"After school I was wanting to complete a trade and following a stint in the oil and gas industry I saw an opportunity to join the ADF to get my trade, so I joined up, completed my trade training and after a few years had the opportunity to become a ground support equipment technician.

"The work-life balance, job security and the opportunity to do things out of the ordinary is what I enjoy about the ADF. 

"I am presently studying for a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree, something I didn’t imagine when my parents migrated to Australia in 2002."

Corporal Badenhorst is close to his Proserpine home and the Whitsunday Islands allowing him to continue the hobbies of fishing and exploring the Great Barrier Reef as he did in his teenage years.

In conjunction with Anzac Day commemorations each year, Corporal Badenhorst also spends some time working with Indigenous communities at Wajul Wajul and Cow Bay in the lower Daintree River area.

"As we reflect on the diverse history, traditions and achievements of the past 100 years within the Air Force, we can also look forward to the exciting opportunities and technological advances the future will hold with the RAAF as we evolve into a fifth-generation Air Force," Corporal Badenhorst said.

"Being an airman in the RAAF has been a one-of-a-kind experience that the majority of the community will never experience. 

"It has been an eye-opener on how the ADF provides capability to Australia throughout all three services and how dedicated RAAF and other ADF members are to their country and particular service."

With people a strong focus of the Air Force centenary, throughout 2020 and 2021 exceptional members who have contributed to the Air Force will be featured on www.airforce.gov.au/100 and Corporal Badenhorst is a fine example of the thousands of people who make up our Air Force. 

Planning is underway for the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s formation in March 1921 and further information may be obtained at www.airforce.gov.au/100

You can watch Corporal Badenhorst's story here.