ANZAC Day 2021: Omnia Paratis – ready for anything
ANZAC Day is one of the few days the nation takes pause to remember those who have fallen, appreciate those that have served and those who continue to serve.
Being a fourth-generation military member who served 13 years in the Air Force (so far, as I am still an active reservist) I grew up with the saying “Omnia Paratis” which translates to “ready for anything” and the excitement of that concept is what drew me to service.
When I joined the Air Force my expectations were certainly met. I was fortunate in my Air Force career, being deployed on peacekeeping and war-like operations in the UAE, Iraq and Afghanistan; travelling the world interacting with international military members whose culture and life insights will forever stay with me.
When asked to reflect on my service for this ANZAC Day three key pillars came to mind.
Omnia Paratis is the cornerstone of sacrifice. A military member you sign up for an unknown adventure with limited to no control over the journey. At times you sacrifice your free time to support domestic natural disasters or spend long durations away from your family and friends without the normal liberties you’re used to.
Whilst that might sound negative, it’s humbling to realise the quality of life we have here in Australia and makes me grateful every day for the access we have to simple things like education and healthcare. I actively treasure moments with family and friends, and not take the time for granted – making the important measurable, not the measurable important.
Mateship encompasses trust. The people you work alongside, both Australian and other partner nations at times have your life in their hands, and theirs in yours. You have a bond that is hard to describe and no matter what the time or distance between seeing one another, it never changes; you just have more to talk about.
I’ve lost friends that I’ve served with, and whilst ANZAC Day is a time to reflect, I think of them often and wish that component of service was not a cruel reality. For me, mateship really is like family and I’ll be forever grateful for those I’ve served with. For the lessons they’ve taught me and the experiences we’ve shared like no other. I know, hand on heart, if I ever needed anything, they would be there for me, and that’s a great feeling to have as I navigate through life.
Finally, opportunity. I was given so many opportunities during my career to progress personally and professionally. I’ve completed a Bachelor’s and three Master’s while serving in the Air Force; a fantastic investment by them in their people.
There were many open-door moments in my career, places to go, people to meet, things to see. These pillars were contributing factors to why I chose to join KPMG after my transition from service.
I’m grateful for the flexibility KPMG offers as an employer, especially when it comes to supporting me to continue my service as a Reservist, allowing me to take time from work to assist when Defence needs it.
ANZAC Day doesn’t feel so different for me because military service, whether it be my own or my family before me, has always been part of my life. But when reflecting on what service means to me, I don’t think there is one answer. It’s a combination of Omnia Paratis and going where the wind takes you, making the most of it and appreciating what you have in life courtesy of the sacrifices of the few for the many.
Lest we forget.