Gayn­dah alum­nus aims up in Aus­tralian Army

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Philippe Coquerand

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.

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