Liz Cosson - A resilient bunch

Running time
2 min 8 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was the first year for women to go through very similar training for the males and they didn't have boots to fit me. They didn't have the uniform to fit a female or boots out in the field. So females were given driver boots, which were smooth soled to drive a car, to drive a commanding officer around and they were affectionately called pixie boots when I put them on because the other girls had bigger feet. And they were able to IGP boots. They didn't have the GP boots to fit me for the whole year.

So you can imagine out in the field running through the field, doing infantry monitor tactics as we were and I just kept slipping over. And so my pixie boots were known as my pixie boots, but also we didn't have proper obstacle courses like you did at Portsea and Duntroon.

So I'll never forget out on the parade ground in front of our, our administration block, they set up wardrobes that we would have to leap over a wooden wardrobe. And it was a makeshift obstacle course, because I was just testing and learning a little bit about what females could do and our senior instructor, he was a Vietnam veteran and I still see Gordon Hurford to this day, a wonderful man, and I can still hear him yelling at me, could a callsign get up and run, or get out Gaza and jump up there, you know, it was just an environment where you pushed and pushed and I realised, females are extremely capable, they persevere.

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