Determined to make a difference

Determined to make a difference



Adelaide-born Corporal Wade Roberts is making a difference across Australia as a community ambassador for the Jodi Lee Foundation, raising awareness for the prevention of bowel cancer while working his day job at Williamtown.

Having always had an interest in aviation, Corporal Roberts’ trade qualification as an aircraft technician was gained as a member of the Australian Defence Force.

He said he was inspired to join because of grandfather’s military involvement during World War II.

“My grandfather served in the 2/1st Australian Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron between 1939 and 1945,” Corporal Roberts said.

“Naturally I found the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with the ADF logical, given my grandfather’s service.

“The Air Force has not only helped me excel at my chosen trade of aircraft technician, where I have gained so many skills across a number of platforms, it also has helped me develop as a person with such a diversity in the ADF.”

Since joining in 2007, Corporal Roberts has served on Operations Slipper, Resolute and Gateway, as well as serving with the ADF-supported search for the Malaysian Airways flight MH370.

“While I love my work, being in the Air Force is not only work – there is time for your own pursuits as well, and I represented Australia at the Invictus Games in 2016 and 2017,” Corporal Roberts said.

“This is one of the community-based activities I enjoy, and along with my role as a community ambassador for the Jodi Lee Foundation I use that time to promote awareness of bowel cancer.”

A cycling team member during the Invictus Games in 2016 and 2017, Corporal Roberts said his main role outside work was helping to raise his son, Thomas.

Based at RAAF Base Williamtown, near Newcastle, he works with Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit, which is gearing up to convert pilots from the Hornet platform to Australia’s newest fighter aircraft, the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter F-35A Lightning II.

With people a strong focus of the Air Force Centenary, throughout 2020 and 2021 exceptional members, like Corporal Roberts, who have contributed to the Air Force will be featured on as fine examples of the thousands of people who make up our Air Force.

Planning is underway for the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s formation in March 1921. More information can be found at

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