Inspired and inspiring: forging a path of respect
A strong military history runs in the family of Australian Army soldier Private Grace Bailey.
Although she hails from Crib Point, Melbourne, her father and a number of her mother’s family, who are from the Torres Strait Islands, served in the military and now Private Bailey hopes to inspire her younger siblings.
The Specialist Driver enlisted into the Royal Australian Corps of Transport in 2018 and is now serving on her first posting at Darwin’s 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.
“I am the first serving female in the family — it makes me very proud to come from a strong line of courage and bravery,” Private Bailey said.
“It has always been a career that I’ve wanted to pursue and I feel fortunate to be a part of something so meaningful.
“I wanted to lead by example and inspire them [her siblings] to aim high and to never give up on what you want to achieve.”
As a Specialist Driver at an artillery regiment, Private Bailey spends most of her time working with heavy vehicles and transporting 155mm artillery ammunition.
When she’s not out supporting the unit on field training exercises, she works in barracks where she wears the khaki fur felt slouch hat with her uniform.
The iconic headdress reminds Private Bailey of those who have sacrificed so much to make Australia what it is today.
“Wearing the slouch hat gives me a sense of pride in knowing that this same hat was worn not only by the soldiers before me but by many of my own family,” she said.
She believes the slouch hat embodies the spirit and service of the Anzacs and drives purpose in the actions of Australian soldiers today.
“The importance of remembering and sharing their stories is essential so that we may never forget their legacy,” Private Bailey said.