Transition stories

Michael Drake

Former Lieutenant Commander, Royal Australian Navy

Michael now works for the NSW Government as Director for the Centre for Maritime Safety. As part of Transport for NSW, the Centre for Maritime Safety works collaboratively with operational government agency Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), and is responsible for evidence-based strategy, policy, and awareness campaigns, and key stakeholder relations for the NSW Government's maritime program.

What attracted me to working with the government was the variety of work the government does. It's about making people's lives easier.

 CaseStudy MichaelDrake



Jo Matthews

Former Leading Seaman, Royal Australian Navy

After leaving the Royal Australian Navy, Jo found employment with Fire and Rescue NSW, one of the world's largest urban fire and rescue services. Fire and Rescue NSW employs almost 7000 fire-fighters. 

I've got a lot of skills that transferred over into the civilian world quite easily.”

 CaseStudy JoMatthews




Simon Petley

Former Warrant Officer Class 2, Australian Army

Leaving the Australian Army after 20 years of service, Simon now works as a Logistics Support Officer for SafeWork NSW, an organisation within the NSW Government that works to secure the health, safety and welfare of workers in NSW.

"The breadth of experience that I have gained in the ADF has held me in good stead for my role in the NSW Government."

CaseStudy SimonPetley




Clint Thomas

Former Corporal, Royal Australian Air Force

"My time with the ADF brought a lot of skills and experience that are highly transferable. It took me a while to find where I fit in and what I enjoy doing, but I'm living the dream in NSW Government"

 CaseStudy ClintThomas




Nichol Anderson

Former Warrant Officer Class 1, Australian Army

Nichol works as a Service Planning Support Office for Transport for NSW, the NSW Government’s lead public transport agency which manages the multi-billion-dollar budget for rail, bus, ferry, road, maritime and taxi services and related transport infrastructure in NSW.

“The NSW Government has changed to a capability framework. If you think you are at the level that’s required for that role then apply.”

 CaseStudy NicholAnderson3




Millie Bass

Former Flight Lieutenant Royal Australian Air Force 

I enjoyed my time in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Personnel Capability Officer and am thankful for the variety of skills and experience I acquired over nearly 12 years. Leaving the ADF and establishing a civilian life outside of the military environment was a significant yet seamless experience for me. It was the best decision! 
I now work for the NSW State Government providing business, operations, compliance and project management services across multiple clusters (areas of government). My role is challenging, dynamic and very rewarding. The organisation actively promotes flexible working arrangements and supports me to learn and grow. I love my job and the people I work with. 
I was actively involved with the Veterans Employment Program during my transition and am now a proud Veterans mentor. If you are looking to transition, I encourage you to contact the Veterans Employment Program and consider employment within NSW State Government. I guarantee they will value your unique skills and fine leadership as they did with me! 

 Millie Bass




Paul Rindermann

Former Combat Engineer, Australian Army 

Paul works for the NSW Government as a Senior Correctional Officer for Corrective Services at the Downing Centre, a division of the Department of Justice. Paul is where he is responsible for the operation and security of the Courts Cell Complex. The goal of Corrective Services is to preserve community safety by keeping inmates secure, supervising offenders in the community, and reducing reoffending.

"The most valuable skill I acquired during my time in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was effective communication. The ability to communicate with all levels of people has assisted me many times in negotiating with inmates”.





Phil Miles 

Former Major, Australian Army 

Phil has become a champion of the LG-R2G. After studying Civil Engineering at ADFA Phil spent a year at Duntroon and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1994. He was appointed to the Royal Australia Engineers and after completing his Regimental Officers Basic Course in 1996 he was posted to the 17th Construction Squadron at Holsworthy Barracks. He commanded the Plant Troop and was involved in the first Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program project in 1997. 

In 1998 he was promoted to Captain and spent 2 years at the 12th Chief Engineer Works in Mendi, Papua New Guinea as the Provincial Civil Engineer. He returned to Australia in 2000 and was appointed as the Plant Roads and Airfields Instructor at the School of Military Engineering at Moorebank. In 2002 he was appointed Corps Adjutant and did a 6-month tour of East Timor as a United Nations Military Observer (UNMO) participating in both UNTAET and UNMISET missions. 

In 2003 he enjoyed 12 months as the Operating Officer of the 8th Combat Engineer Regiment and was promoted to Major in 2004.He then transferred to the Army Reserve and took up command of the 14th Field Squadron, 8th Combat Engineer Regiment and started working for Gosford City Council. Now Phil's responsible for the delivery of all public infrastructure works with Port Stephens Council.

Philip Miles 






Luke Homann  

Former Army Captain, Now Director, Rural and Regional Service Delivery and Performance, Regional and Outer Metropolitan 

Luke joined the Army in 1994. Undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at the Australian Defence Force Academy, he graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1997 to the Royal Australian Infantry. During his 13 years in the Australian Regular Army, he was posted to 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), the Ground Liaison Group, Australian Technical Staff Officers Course and HQ Training Command.

"The skills, experience and qualifications I gained over this time gave me a solid foundation for a civilian career."

After leaving Defence, he worked as a consultant, was self-employed, and also took on a role as a senior manager in a large consultancy firm. Since 2013 he has worked in the NSW public sector at Transport for NSW as a senior executive, leading teams in supply chain authorisation, compliance and integrated transport planning. Currently he is responsible for a portfolio that includes all bus and community transport operations across Regional NSW. He also administers a range of grants to deliver transport services for disadvantaged communities and small infrastructure projects

"Leading initiatives within an organisation that values its people and focuses on tangibly improving people’s lives gives me a huge level of job satisfaction."

Luke says having a support network to help him understand the outside world was crucial in making the transition.

"Making a career transition is very challenging and I would encourage anyone doing so to engage the Veterans Employment Program and consider the NSW public sector as a career option after Defence."


Luke Homann




Chris Turner  

Regional Commander with the Office of the Sherriff of NSW and Squadron Leader in the RAAF (Active Reserve) 

Chris joined the RAAF Active Reserve in 2007 as a Security Officer. His numerous postings included the Defence Police Training Centre; the Office in Charge of Force Protection during Operation Slipper; and Airbase Protection Flight and the Duty Operations Office at Headquarters Command during Operation Resolute. He also held the positions of Host Nation Liaison Officer and Detachment Executive Officer during Operation Accordion.

In May 2017, Chris joined the Office of the Sheriff as the Regional Commander for the Sydney Metropolitan Command. In that role he assumed responsibility for the security of the largest court complex in the Southern Hemisphere, in addition to many other senior management and law enforcement responsibilities. In February 2020, Chris assumed command of the Greater Metropolitan and Civil Enforcement Commands.

 “My ADF training and experience is useful almost every day in my civilian role…it has shaped and assisted in the way that I approach business, particularly problem solving, business planning and people management”.
Chris is also a proud member of VEP’s network of Champions. “I am always happy to see current and former ADF personnel [apply for roles], as I know that these people will bring a host of valuable skills, experiences, and personal attributes into the organisation. I would certainly encourage transitioning ADF personnel to consider a role in the NSW public sector; and I’m always happy to talk to people and provide any support that I can.”


Chirs Turner




Angie Holst   

Former Army Captain, now Acting Program Coordinator Youth and Crime Prevention Command 

Angie left the Australian Army in 2015 after 8 years as a Specialist Service Officer in the Education Corps. Angie spent the second half of those 8 years in Forces Command working in the G7 Training Branch, often focused on the planning and management of Exercise Hamel and Talisman Sabre.

Upon discharge, Angie had a two-year stint in NSW Parks and Wildlife where she was a Policy Officer coordinating the firearms training for Park Rangers, as well as writing the risk-based policies for the agency, concentrating largely on the state-wide project to reduce drownings. She then worked as a Project Officer in the Counter Terrorism Team within the Office for Police, where she coordinated the delivery of training in counter terrorism for NSW government agencies such as Corrective Services and Juvenile Justice. 

Angie then joined the NSW Police as an unsworn officer and is currently a Program Coordinator working in the Youth and Crime Prevention Command in Sydney. She is coordinating the Police Commissioner’s state-wide youth strategy called RISEUP, working to build the resilience of disadvantaged and vulnerable youth – and ultimately to place them in meaningful employment. 

Angie’s substantive role in NSW Police is as an analyst performing the intelligence support for specialist squads as well as analysis for Police Headquarters to inform strategy and tactical operations.

Angie holds a Bachelor of Secondary Education in Humanities and was a secondary school teacher in English and History for 8 years prior to joining the Army. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Defence Studies) from the Australian Defence Force Academy and is currently finishing the Masters of Intelligence Analysis at Charles Sturt University.Angie met the Veterans Employment Team during her work with the Office for Police and is happy to support any veteran looking to transition into civilian work. She has reenlisted into 5 BDE this year as a Reservist after working closely through Police with the BDE in the COVID-19 Police Operation Centre. 

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Bradley Lawless

Platoon SGT at 1 Military Police Battalion currently SGT in the Army Reserve 

I joined the Australian Army in 2000 as a Royal Australian Engineer Reservist. I commenced parading at the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment, as a Sapper. I resigned from labouring in construction to commence 6 months basic training at Australian Recruit Training Centre Kapooka and Combat Engineer Training at Steel Barrack, Moorebank. 

I was lucky enough to start my new career at NSW’s biggest maximum Correction Centre as a Correctional Officer. Concurrently I corps transferred to the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police. I found the Army skill set enhanced my civilian skill set. Both Corrections and the Military Police capability’s complemented each other. I found my confidence and competence building. The Army encourage me to apply risk management principles and apply them in all walks of life. As a result, I found myself completing a university degree. When studying, I used the Army’s library for study material. The Defence Force Library staff members were very helpful and this enabled me to effectively double my access to academic information. I was lucky, Correction Service (CSNSW) supported my extra study as well.  Something I and the organisations I work for benefit from, is cultural military resilience. Trusting mates, colleagues and utilising networks to accomplish missions and support each other. 

Both the leadership development and Service Police Training enabled me to complete a secondment within the NSW Government to the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing as an Investigator. Once again, both my Civilian role and defence roles were complementing each. The investigation training and experience gain in the RACMPs enabled me to conduct similar investigation in the community. 

 I’m currently at the Office of the Sheriff as a Superintendent. Once again, I find myself using the skills and experience gained in the Army Reserve and NSW Government Sector employment

The last and most important skill set I gained from the Army Reserve is networks. At any time a new issue arises, I have a network of Military and ex-military mates, who I can call and quiz. They offer advice, counsel, direction, experience and understanding. I can’t emphasize how the networks in Military have assisted me to develop and learn. Then apply the same lessons in networking in my current role.


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