News

VIDEO: Gladstone recruit is first female to join infantry

IF you asked Rebecca Dunnett where she wants to be in a year's time she would say in a field with a rifle over her shoulder.

It might be not be the "typical" dream of most young women, but for Rebecca it's all she's ever wanted.

On International Women's Day the 19-year-old became the first woman in Queensland to be enlisted into the Australian Army Reserves as an infantry soldier.

It wouldn't come as a surprise to her friends, since the new recruit describes herself as a "tomboy" who would have always preferred to be shooting guns rather than playing with Barbies.

Now she will have a chance to put that enthusiasm to the test.

"I feel pretty special knowing I'm the first," said Rebecca, who recently gave away her apprenticeship as a mechanic to focus on the military.

"I'd like to think I can encourage other women to do the same as me.

"We need more females in the army to make it more equal, to evolve so we're not stuck in this idea only men can do certain things.

"I can't wait to get out there."

This is the first year women have been allowed to join the infantry after the Australian Army declared in 2011 it was abolishing gender restrictions on combat positions.

The changes, described at the time as "a significant and major cultural" shift, were introduced over a five-year period and infantry is the last position to have those restrictions lifted.

Her new boss Major Ed Dahlheimer said while there would still be gender stereotypes to break through, the biggest challenges for women in combat positions were the same as those for men.

"There's a lot of walking, carrying heavy loads, but there's also the fun stuff too," Major Dahlheimer said.

"She'll learn to use a variety of weapons, and become very skilled at using those weapons, and essentially become a warrior for today's society."

There are already women serving in the unit which covers Central Queensland to Cairns, but none are in combat positions.

Topics:  australian army, gladstone, infantry




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Everything you need to know for the next cruise ship arrival

The Pacific Jewel docked in Gladstone.

Pacific Jewel visiting Gladstone on Tuesday

LETTER: Where do Flynn candidates stand in abortion debate

This is a priority for this Gladstone resident

Flynn candidates share their ‘resumes’

Jordan Puku pictured when he was around 12 years old.

Flynn candidates share their 'resumes'

Latest deals and offers

Kirkwood Rd car crash

A Suzuki van crashed on Kirkwood Rd today, flipping on its side. Gladstone Fire and...

Van flips on Kirkwood Rd

A van has flipped on Kirkwood Rd, and police are diverting traffic.

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%