Jenny Firman - Tri-service roles

Running time
50 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


As a reservist, I've got a full-time job somewhere else, and I don't do Navy work unless the Navy posts me to a position or gives me reserve days to come and do some work. And I did a lot of, if you like, part time work for Navy, things that weren't postings to an establishment, to put my uniform on and go and do work.

I did clearance of medically discharging people, things like that. So I did lots of different small things because I was skilled to do it. At that point I was working at Defence Force recruiting as the Chief Medical Officer, so I still had a fair bit to do with Defence because I was there managing the doctors who did medicals on people who wish to come into the Defence and all three services and looking at the standards we applied and liaising with Defence about people they might want to take, even if they didn't quite meet the medical standards, that sort of thing.

So I did have a fair bit of involvement with them. Occasionally I did a sea posting if they needed a doctor for an additional sea posting, but it was really intermittent and part time work … and over time they've changed how they post reserves.

Now there are, there is a category of reserve service that is more regular, you know, each week postings. And I've certainly done that both in the Navy and when I was the Surgeon General.

And the difference in doing reserve work compared to full time is that when you're full time, you can achieve a project, you might say, "I'm going to do this particular project", and you've got a timeline of how long that might take you.

But when you're a reservist and you're doing it part time, that timeline spins right out and you have to sort of adjust what you think you'll achieve when and how because you're there in a part time basis.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.