Like so many students in their final years of schooling, Bree Mullen had no idea where life might take her beyond Year 12.
As a kid back in primary school she’d thought about herself in the Army, but had never said it aloud to anyone.
In her early years of secondary school it was hairdressing that grabbed her interest. She even did work experience at a salon in Castlemaine.
After she arrived at BSSC in 2019, the Army came back onto her radar and she realised it offered a whole range of career pathways that might interest her.
“I’ve always been an outdoorsy person and like pushing my body to its limits,” Bree says. “I was never fond of being in the classroom and much preferred learning out in the field. I loved my Outdoor Ed class with Emila Moss at BSSC.”
The Careers and Pathways team at the college provide Bree with the first stepping stones, pointing her in the right direction regarding information sessions and getting started with the application process.
Bree says that while the application process can seem daunting, it’s a matter of being patient and methodical.
“It starts off with meetings, lots of paperwork, a fitness test and then selecting a job role that is right for you,” she says. “Before I knew it, it was enlistment day and I was heading off to Kapooka in Wagga to begin my basic training.”
While the two weeks of basic training pushed Bree out of her comfort zone and caused her to doubt herself at times, she wouldn’t change the experience for the world.
“You make friends really quickly,” she says, “and the staff are very caring and supportive.
“There are lots of lighter moments too, like when one of the girls in my platoon found a dead mouse in her boot after march-out—there’s quite a mouse plague happening at Kapooka.”
Bree also decided to part company with her long blonde hair—another transformation for the young woman who graduated from BSSC just 10 months ago.
“It’s been such a time of change, but I’ve loved it all,” Bree says. “I’m now doing my initial employment training at Puckapunyal as a ‘truckie’, not something I ever imagined myself doing.
“Eventually (depending on COVID) I’ll get travel to a base outside of Victoria which I’m really looking forward to.”
Bree has fond memories of her two years at BSSC and says it has contributed to the person she is now.
“I learnt to be independent in so many ways,” she says. “But it also taught me that if I need help all I have to do is ask. I think that’s something the college does really well.”
Bree was involved in the Competition Vehicles team in 2019 and loved her studies in Outdoor Ed and Photography. She also played netball for Maryborough in the BFNL and umpired as well.
When asked what advice she would offer current BSSC students considering a career in the ADF, Bree is quick to respond… “Do it! You won’t regret it.”
“There are so many options—not only full-time,” she says. “There is even a gap year program where you’ll get paid for meaningful work while travelling around Australia, gaining skills for life, and making lifelong friends.”
To find out more about a career in the ADF, you can chat to a member of BSSC’s Careers and Pathways team or research online at: www.defencejobs.gov.au/students-and-education