ANZAC DAY LIFT-OUT
Gayndah alumnus aims up in Australian Army
FROM school captain to defence force personnel, it’s been a whirlwind three years for Reanna Morrison.
Ms Morrison, a former Gayndah resident who was school captain at Burnett State College, is now a member of the Australian Army after successfully applying for a medical technician job.
“After graduating from school I went to Brisbane and attended the University of Queensland but didn’t like it,” the 19-year-old said.
“I went back home and began working my normal job when a medical technician job came up on the Army’s website page.
“I got the position and off I went to Kapooka for basic training which was tough. I did three months there.”
Ms Morrison is now based in Bonegilla, Victoria and has another 18 months of study ahead of her.
“I’m really enjoying it here,” she said. “I’ve got to complete a Diploma in Nursing, Certificate III in Sterilisation, Diploma in Paramedic Science and a Certificate III in Pathology before the end of next year.”
Despite the workload, Ms Morrison said she is enjoying army life.
“I start work at 7.25am and work all day. The food is always prepared so I don’t need to think of what I will eat that morning, it’s done for you,” she said.
“I finish work at 4pm and from 4-10pm it’s your own time so you’ve got to work out your priorities between the six-hour gap.
“Most weekends we can do what we want. I call my family up and see how they’re going.”
Ms Morrison said moving away from home had been difficult but she has settled into her new life.
“It was hard at first. I thought at times ‘oh my gosh, what have I done?’ but gradually it got better as you’re with your mates,” she said.
“We become family and we’re very supportive of one another and that really helps you get through.”
Ms Morrison has only recently returned to the base after spending the Easter break with family.
“I’m in holding at the moment as I just got home from visiting family for Easter,” she said.
“I’ve signed on for six years with the military and I don’t ever imagine wanting to leave, I am enjoying it too much.”
While she said it is a good lifestyle, Ms Morrison said the training can be demanding.
“It’s challenging in a way that makes you a better person, you do it because you know you will come out more knowledgeable and competent,” she said.
“With one of the exercises, you carry packs up hills. Everyone’s in the same boat, you just keep pushing through.
“The staff can be pretty scary though. We have corporals and a platoon commander, they yell a lot.”
“I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t been yelled at. I’ve been yelled at once for not filling out the strength log which shows what activities you worked on and is a core component of character building.
“We’ve got to be able to use the full power of our voice, if you make a mistake, own it.”
Advice for those at school, she said “don’t believe university is your only option”.
ON TARGET: Reanna Morrison during an Australian Army training exercise.