Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart AM - currently serving | RAAF (most senior female)
Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart AM, currently runs health services in the Australian Defence Force. She is very proud of the many and varied roles undertaken by women during war, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
LIZ HAYES: I'm Liz Hayes. For International Women's Day 2019, we recognise the role of women in wartime. Women like Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart, who currently runs all the health services in the Australian Defence Force. She's intensely proud of the many and varied roles undertaken by women during war and peacekeeping missions.
AIR VICE MARSHALLTRACEY SMART AM: Well, the role of women in wartime has evolved over the years. But they have been there right beside the men from the beginning and one of the things we don't talk enough about is the role of those who stayed behind, picking up the pieces, filling in the roles that were traditionally male roles, like in munitions factories, like in blood banks; all of these areas right through to those who perhaps became what we call now carers for the rest of their lives; put their lives on hold to try and pick back up the pieces of the broken lives of their loved ones.
In terms of those serving in uniform, the nurses were the real trailblazers for women in the Defence Force. And I'm very proud to be part of that heritage and also to pass on the baton to the next generation of women coming through who are just going to achieve so much more.
LIZ HAYES: Women in Wartime and recognising their role and their sacrifices during war and peacekeeping efforts.