Women In Defence Awards Finalist Feature Article
The next in our five-part special feature, telling the inspiring stories of the remarkable Royal Australian Navy women selected as finalists in the Australian Defence Magazine’s Women in Defence Awards 2020, which celebrate talented, determined and successful women in the Defence community.
One Royal Australian Navy finalist in the Operations category is Chief Petty Officer Communications and Information Systems Jessica Buley who is the Communications Information Warfare Manager on HMAS Sydney.
Chief Petty Officer Buley grew up in Brisbane and had considered joining the Australian Defence Force for some time before the opportunity presented itself.
“My grandfather, Sapper Raymond McPherson, served for half his life,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.
“He lost his life whilst on duty over 40 years ago and I never had the opportunity to meet him, however his influence in my decision to join the Australian Defence Force can’t be underestimated.”
The majority of Chief Petty Officer Buley’s career has been spent in Cairns aboard patrol boats and hydrographic survey vessels but her career highlight was participating in the commissioning of HMAS Hobart in 2017.
“Hobart was a new and fierce warfighting capability and the best part was being a member of the dedicated and inspiring crew,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.
“It was a hard slog, but together we met all the challenges and became a cohesive and high performing team, along with the best of friends.”
Chief Petty Officer Buley is an advocate of mentoring throughout the Navy organisation and takes pride in influencing others by her consistency, credibility and attitude.
“It’s vital that we get the relationships with our people right: good relationships allow for positive influence,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.
Chief Petty Officer Buley has found that the most challenging aspect of her career in the Navy has been finding the balance between her work and home life.
“I like to think I break the mould and inspire other women, mothers and parents alike who wish to maintain clear career paths, who master their trades at sea but still manage to maintain and support their families ashore,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.
And Chief Petty Officer Buley’s advice to other women working in the Navy?
“Be real to who you are, be an example and earn respect. If you are authentic and true to yourself you will draw others to you.”
Winners of the Women in Defence Awards 2020 will be announced on Friday 23 October. Details of the awards and winner announcements can be found at https://admwomenindefenceawards.com.au.