Our Members

Interviews with some of our LGBTI members - regular LGBTI people defending Australia and our national interests.

If you have a connection to Defence, are applying to join Defence or if you support LGBTI diversity and inclusion we invite you to to become a member.

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Member in focus - Ellen Zyla

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Board member and women's network lead Ellen Zyla is musician in the Royal Australian Navy Band - Sydney and is our member in focus this month.

Q: When and why did you join the Defence.

I joined the Navy in June 2003. I was studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of Southern Queensland when I auditioned for both the Australian Army Band Corps and the Royal Australian Navy Band. I had wanted to join the Royal Australian Navy Band since I was 15.

Q: Please explain what you do.

I am an Able Seaman Musician and have been posted to Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney for the majority of my career. I am currently the National Public Relations Manager for the Royal Australian Navy Band. This role covers a vast array of duties including all marketing and public relations within Defence and the greater music world, candidate liaison for prospective members and looking after the Band’s social media site, just to name a few.

Read more: Member in focus - Ellen Zyla

Member in focus - Catherine Humphries

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DEFGLIS Member Squadron Leader Cate Humphries is a Ground Defence Officer in the Air Force and our member in focus this month.

Q: When and why did you join the Australian Defence Force?

I joined the RAAF in 1997 when I commenced RMC Duntroon as an Officer Cadet. The reason I joined encompassed a variety of factors – I had been interested in the Air Force in general from a young age which gave me the starting point, but the actual trigger was going into recruiting to get some stuff for my younger brother and thinking – why not try joining myself!

I was also not enjoying my university study (Engineering) and was looking for a change.

Q: What is it that you do?

I am a Ground Defence Officer – which is an Air Force officer who is trained along similar lines to an Army Infantry officer, responsible for the force protection of RAAF assets and people both inAustralia and overseas, however primarily whilst they are deployed in a high threat environment.

Read more: Member in focus - Catherine Humphries

Member in focus - Aston Wilson

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In recognition of NAIDOC week, we're pleased to bring you this interview with Able Seaman Aston Wilson - our DEFGLIS member in focus this month.

Q: Its NAIDOC week this week, can you explain to us what that means to you?

NAIDOC to me is a time for traditional food, dancing, songs, celebration and a chance to truly appreciate and reflect on my heritage and culture as an Torres Strait Islander with great pride and love.

Being so far away from home doesn't give me a chance to always indulge in it all the time so it's always amazing to get back in touch with that side of me and take a moment to remember where I come from. It also gives me a chance to reach out to others who don't have a full understanding of the Indigenous culture because somebody will always have a question about something. It a good opportunity to teach them about it, a little more NAIDOC, which I absolutely love doing!

Read more: Member in focus - Aston Wilson

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